Shocking but true the Cruise vessel MV Empress
that arrived from Visakhapatnam Port c carrying tourists could not anchor
outside Puducherry port since the Union territory governed by the central
government has no cruise shipping policy.
The proposal to anchor the cruise ship outside
the port ,take tourists to the city by boats was given up and the ship made a
bee line back to Chennai dropping Puducherry from its itinerary on June tenth.
UT lacks a cruise shipping policy,
While the Puducherry government did not reject
the cruise liner's application, they have not approved it either. This was
because the UT lacks a cruise shipping policy, the rate to be levied for the
anchorage facilities, the allied infrastructure and logistics at the Puducherry
Port. The port has not handled cruise ships in its long history and
infrastructure needs to be put in place.
Though the cruise liner has informed the Puducherry administration about its
intention to drop anchor outside the port a month in advance, the UT administration’s
red tape ensured that things did not move. The administration woke up at the
last minute and but it was too late. There was no time to arrange logistics.
The administration got in touch with Chennai port for the arrangements to be
made to receive the vessel at the port but the efforts ended in vain late.
The cruise operators had planned to take
passengers to visit the Aurobindo Ashram, beaches, art and craft village with
the support from the Puducherry Tourism Development Corporation.
five hundred tourists had expressed their desire to visit Puducherry.
Puducherry lost valuable tourists, which the government had been eager to
attract due to the state government’s apathy.