With cruise tourism gaining momentum, a trans-border river cruise from the West Bengal capital, through Sunderbans to Bangladesh and then onwards to the Northeast is expected to start in March 2019, an official said.
"There were secretary-level talks between India and Bangladesh in October.
"It has been decided that one of the river cruise operators would be starting operations from March, 2019 from Kolkata through Sunderbans via protocol route to Bangladesh and then to the Northeast," Inland Waterways Authority of India's Member S.V.K. Reddy here.
He said night navigation facility has been placed up to the Indian border and the neighbouring country was supposed to provide the same as per requirement.
Reddy also informed that the Indian government has been funding up to 80 per cent of the dredging cost in some identified stretches within Bangladesh portion in the Indo-Bangla protocol route.
He also said the route up to the Indian border is "navigable" and regularly 15-20 barges carrying fly ash are going to Bangladesh.
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