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Nitin Gadkari proposes Mumbai-Bali cruise route

Press Trust of India  |  Panaji 

Union Road Transport and Highways Gadkari today said his ministry was working on a cruise route from to in Indonesia, via Kochin and the Andaman and Nicobar islands, to boost cruise tourism.

"I have met a from Indonasia. We have initiated the idea of having cruise from to Andaman Nicobar via and Kochin. The ships can go up to Bali, Indians usually visit or They can go there directly on a cruise from Mumbai," the told reporters.

Gadkari is on a two-day visit to to attend a meeting of Highways department officials to review the ongoing works across the country.

Gadkari also said the work to widen the Mumbai- highway will be completed by March 2019.

"The work on all the packages on the Mumbai-Goa highway has begun. The work on tunnels has also started. We want to complete the entire road by March next year except a tunnel at Kashedi Ghat in Maharashtra," he said.

Gadkari said the refurbished highway would be an "engineering marvel" and motorists could enjoy a scenic drive.

The four-lane highway expansion project has been delayed for several reasons, including lack of permission to cut trees. Once completed, the drive from Goa to will be just six-hour-long.

Gadkari appealed to common people, politicians, and NGOs to adopt highways by planting trees along them.

"I appeal to all members of public, MLAs, MPs and NGOs to come forward and plant trees along the highways. They should plant the trees and adopt them," the said.

Gadkari said he had spoken to Narayan Rane, who hails from district in neighbouring Maharashtra, about tree plantation and the latter has assured to implement the same in taluka.

The minister said the Goa-Mumbai waterway was now opened up for regular boat service.

"We have opened up the Mumbai Goa waterway for boat service. Initially, there were some technical problems for this service, which are fixed now," he said.

A private shipping company had recently announced its service connecting Mumbai to Goa.

"The successful trial of the ship was also conducted. The service is right now on hold because of monsoon. It will restart after two months post monsoon," Gadkari said.

The cruise service between Mumbai and Goa is likely to become operational in September this year.

Gadkari said the always encouraged cruise tourism.

"Mumbai gets 80 cruise ships. We have constructed a state-of-the-art terminal for ships. Goa also gets a number of cruise vessels. We expect that in the next five years 950 cruise vessels will be calling the Goa port," he said.

Gadkari said he would address a workshop of tour and companies in Mumbai for which Goan operators are also invited.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, June 12 2018. 17:55 IST
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