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Cruise tourists’ visit to India to be hassle-free under new SOP

As part of the efforts to promote cruise tourism and step up foreign exchange earnings for the country, the government has promoted seamless entry and exit of international cruise tourists when they arrive and depart from Indian ports under the new Standard Operating Procedures formulated late last year Mr Pon Radhakrishanan informed the Lok Sabha on July 19th.

 In a written answer to the house he said under the new laid down procedure cruise tourists can submit their documents electronically to facilitate seamless entry and exit process with access control and RFID for the vehicles they use from the Port of entry. There will also be simplified Port Health Organization Clearance Procedure. (Majority of the cruise tourists will land in Mumbai as per the government program to develop the Port on the lines of Singapore)

The simplified procedure also provides for e-Landing card for shore excursion, doing away with face to face checks except at the first port of entry and last port of exit and allowing carrying of valid photo I-card for Indian cruise passenger on domestic leg instead of the passport.

While Mumbai port has been declared as the cruise hub for the country, smaller jetties are being constructed at Mormugao, New Mangalore, Cochin and Chennai Ports to receive cruise ships for short stays as per the plan/program of various cruise companies as a port of call.

As part of the government’s decision to declare Mumbai port as the Cruise Hub Port of the country,, Ferry services are run from Mumbai Port (Gateway of India) to Mandwa & Elephanta, and from Ferry Wharf to Mora, Revas & Karanja.

An International Cruise terminal is under construction at Mumbai port at an estimated cost of Rs Three hundred Crores. Apart from the international cruise terminal, a domestic cruise terminal is also being developed at Mumbai Port at an estimated cost of Rs 14 crores.

A renovated cruise passenger facilitation centre has been completed at Chennai Port with an expenditure of Rs. 17.54 Crores.  It is proposed to construct another cruise terminal facility in the Ernakulum Wharf of Cochin Port at an estimated cost of Rs. 25.72 crores.  The Ministry of Tourism had sanctioned Rs. 21.41 crores as financial assistance for this project out of this Rs. 4.33 crores has been released. 

 

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