Patna: The luxury river cruise—MV Ganga Vilas—reached Patna on Monday evening amidst the reports that the ship got stuck up in the river Ganga near Doriganj in Chapra.
The Inland waterways authority of India (IWAI) denied the reports that the cruise was trapped in shallow river water and stated that the cruise vessel sailed as per its schedule on NW-1 and reached Patna as scheduled on January 16.
“There is absolutely no truth in the news that the vessel is stuck at Chhapra. The anchoring place and mode of transport of tourists to the bank is decided by the cruise operator depending on safety and privacy of its passengers,” said a statement made by the IWAI.
The rumour of the ship getting stuck in the river spread owing to high-level of privacy being maintained by the tour operators and the district authorities regarding the tourists on board and facilities inside the luxury triple-deck cruise. It’s said that the ship had everything on board to cater to the tourists’ crave and taste.
“After a brief stopover at Doriganj on 16 January, the cruise vessel reached Patna on 16 January at 4.45 PM. All through its journey the waterway levels were fully maintained and monitored for the required draft of with navigation facilities,” said the statement issued by the Press Information Bureau (PIB).
As per the planned itinerary the tourist also visited destinations en-route, including Doriganj to see the archaeological site of Chirand in Saran district. Tourists were taken to the bank from the vessel using the tug boat to ensure their safety and privacy. The draft of waterway at Doriganj is 3.5 m much above the vessel draft requirement of 1.4 m.
PM Narendra Modi had flagged off the world’s longest river cruise via video conferencing on January 13. The cruise will travel around 3,200 in total on its way from Varanasi to Dibrugarh in Assam via Bangladesh and sail through Meghna in Bangla Desh and Brahmaputra in Assam. The cruise has a capacity of 80 passengers with 18 suits.
The operators also said the ship with its clients is running as per schedule and is anchored in Patna and will sail after sightseeing.
They said that technically the small boats are required to take the guests shore. “We have the same arrangement for the Sundarbans and rest of Bengal too. This has been the plan all along. Yes, if the ship comes near the bank, it may get stuck and hence to avoid the situation we use local boats, which provides some income locally,” said the operator.
It will pass through a total of 27 river systems of UP, Bihar, West Bengal, Bangladesh, and Assam. It will enter the Bhagirathi, Hooghly, Bidyavati, Malata, and Sundarbans river systems in Bengal. In Bangladesh, it will pass through Meghna, Padma, and Jamuna in Banglac and then enter the Brahmaputra in Assam.
The cruise has been planned with visits to 50 tourist spots including World Heritage Sights, National Parks, river Ghats, and major cities like Patna in Bihar, Sahibganj in Jharkhand, Kolkata in West Bengal, Dhaka in Bangladesh and Guwahati in Assam.