Bihar Tourism Corporation to re-launch floating restaurant on Ganga soon

Floating Restaurant

Patna: MV Ganga Vihar—the cruise-cum-floating restaurant—will start sailing on the river Ganga off Patna Ghats again. The Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation (BSTDC) has roped in a private firm, Sandhya Samrat Construction and Services Private Limited (SSCSPL), to repair the ship and operate it under public private partnership (PPP) mode for promotion of tourism in the capital city.

Officials of the BSTDC said that the ship, which is lying motionless due to some major technical fault, would be towed away to Kolkata by the selected agency for repair and re-launch its service from October. “The company has been selected through the competitive bidding among four firms by the BSTDC for the ship’s repair, maintenance and operation for the next 15 years,” said BSRDC Managing Director Kanwal Tanuj.

MV Ganga Vihar once a major attraction for tourists

It was in the year 2009 when the BSTDC launched the MV Ganga Vihar in the river Ganga at Gandhi Ghat in Patna to give a boost to water tourism. The ship had a restaurant facility and enough open space to let the people enjoy floating on the river Ganga with friends and family with lunch and dinner on board. Before being abandoned due to technical faults, the ship was a major attraction for tourists and generally remained packed with tourists until left static in 2017.

The ship has rich memories of events

Launched with great fanfare, the MV Ganga Vihar not only remained cynosure of tourists, but it also played host to eventful meetings of the State Government and international agencies. Once, the State Government organised a Cabinet meeting chaired by Minister Nitish Kumar on the ship, while kept on sailing off different ghats. The then Governor, Central Ministers, Chairmen and Members of the World Bank and Finance Commission had enjoyed the ship service at different time spans between 2009 and 2017.

Also Read: ‘Bihar has tremendous scope to grow on enhanced aviation infra’

Many attempts to repair faults fail to succeed

The BSTDC made many unsuccessful attempts to repair the technical faults of the ship in the past. Technical experts from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Khadagpur, inspected the mechanical section of the cruise, but could not detect the snag. Recently, senior officers of the corporation had talks with experts of water tourism and at a national-level event organised by the Shipping Corporation of India and decided to hire an agency, which can re-operate the MV Ganga Vihar.

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