Chief Secretary directed to work out the details for early rollout

On Offing: River Cruising in Odisha

Bhubaneswar:  In another step towards countering the Covid Impact on tourism industry, Chief Secretary Sri Asit Tripathy has directed the department of Tourism to start river cruising in the State. Sri Tripathy gave this direction while exploring the possibilities of innovative tourism activities in a high level meeting with experts and stakeholders on digital mode.

Sri Tripathy 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.

Secretary Tourism Sri Vishal Dev outlined the issues and presented the updates for discussion.  Discussions show that presently three principal river cruise circuits can be developed in the State. These are river Mahanadi, Chilika Lake and Dangmala reserve forest including the national water way -5 from Dhamara to Paradeep. Bhitarkanika circuit can connect the spots like Chandbali-Aradi-Dhamara-Khola and other spots in Bhitarkanika. This circuit can be a 5 nights and 6 days cruise.  Chilika circuit can connect Chilika, Kalijai-Nalabana-Honeymoon island-Mangalajodi-Satapada-Rajhans island-Satapada and Puri. It could be a 3 night and 4 days cruise.

The meeting deliberated for organizing this activity through PPP mode. The issues relating to various regulatory permissions, compliance to pollution norms, river jetties, bar license etc were discussed and resolved in the meeting. Chief Secretary Sri Tripathy assured that State Government would provide all facilitating support for this activity. State PPP cell was advised to work out the details in consultation with department of Tourism and Odisha Tourism Development Corporation. Chief Secretary also asked Tourism department to coordinate with Inland Waterways Authority regarding statutory requirements.

Development Commissioner Sri Suresh Chandra Mohapatra, Additional Chief Secretary Forest & Environment Dr Mona Sharma,  Principal, Principal Secretary Finance Sri Ashok Kumar Meena, Principal Secretary Water Resources Smt Anu Garg, Secretary Tourism Sri Vishal Kumar Dev, Director Tourism Sri Sachin Ramchandra Yadav along with senior officers of concerned departments participated in the deliberations.