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Swift clearance of international tourists on arrival at Indian ports planned

Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) have been framed by the shipping ministry in June last year for handling cruise vessels and passengers in the major ports.  These SOPs have been framed in consultation with the concerned stakeholders and contain simplified procedures to be observed by the multiple agencies involved in handling of cruise passengers and ship like Port authorities, customs, immigration, security(CISF), State government, ship agents, cruise lines, tour operators, Port Health Officers(PHO). The idea is introduce a single window swift clearance of international tourists, the moment they arrive in sea ports.


The five major ports of Mumbai Port, Mormugao Port, New Mangalore Port, Cochin Port and Chennai Port will receive cruise ships in a big way as per the plan/programme of various cruise companies as a port of call.


During December 2016 to March 2017, cruise ship Costa Neoclassica made Mumbai port its home port for operating a cruise service from Mumbai-New Mangalore-Cochin-Male Colombo-Goa-Mumbai for seven voyages.  Ferry services are run from Mumbai Port (Gateway of India) to Mandwa & Elephanta, and from Ferry Wharf to Mora, Revas & Karanja.


Cruise terminals have been constructed in Mumbai, Mormugao, New Mangalore, Cochin and Chennai Ports.  It is proposed to construct another cruise terminal facility in the Ernakulum wharf of Cochin Port to cater to the cruise passengers with modern amenities at an estimated cost of Rs.25.72 crores. 


The Ministry of Tourism has sanctioned Rs.21.41 crores for this project.  Against this, the first instalment of Rs.10.33 crores has been approved out of which Rs.4.33 crores has been released by the Ministry of Tourism. The project consists of construction of an international cruise terminal building of approximate area of 2253 sq mts.

The information was given by Minister of State for Shipping and Road Transport and Highways Pon. Radhakrishnan in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha on 3 August.

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