Odisha government plans to start river cruises to promote tourism

Odisha government plans to start river cruises to promote tourism

The government of Odisha is planning to commence river cruises in order to boost ttourism health in the state. The state had to suffer a great loss because of COVID-19 outbreak; now that things are reopening gradually, the state government plans to start cruises on select water bodies under Public-Private Partnership (PPP) mode.

Asit Tripathy, Chief Secretary of the state has instructed the tourism department to take necessary actions and start the operations to attract tourists. He said, “River cruising itself is compatible with Covid-19 restrictions. There is a huge scope and latent market for world class river cruising in Odisha. It can also be connected with many eco-spots and refill the economic activities in the sector”.

According to the state’s tourism secretary, there are three prime river cruise circuits, which can be developed on the Mahanadi river, Chilika Lake and Dangmala reserve forest. This will also include the national waterway-5 from Dhamara to Paradeep.

Chilika Lake in Odisha is the largest salt water lake in Asia, and is a haven for bird watchers and nature lovers. This gorgeous pear-shaped lake has several tiny islands and has fisheries and salt pans. There are also several ecosystems in the region and accommodations in the region.

Some other interesting circuits are the Chilika circuit, which will connect Chilika with other tourist spots in the state; the same could go on for 3 nights and 4 days. The Bhitarkanika circuit can connect spots like Chandbali-Aradi-Dhamara-Khola in Bhitarkanika. This will be an interesting circuit and can be a 5 nights and 6 days cruise.

Soon, the state will be taking decisions on regulatory permissions, river jetties, and bar licenses. The Chief Secretary has asked the tourism department to talk and coordinate with Inland Waterways Authority for statutory requirements.

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