Cruise And Ferry Services In The Country
The Government has formulated new guidelines in the form of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to handle cruise vessels and cruise passengers in November 2017. The salient features of these SOPs inter alia includes submission of documents/data electronically, seamless entry and exit process with access control and RFID for vehicles and persons and simplified Port Health Organization Clearance Procedure. It further provides for the e-Landing card for a 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 the domestic leg instead of the passport.
The five major ports i.e Mumbai Port, Mormugao Port, New Mangalore Port, Cochin Port and Chennai Port receive cruise ships as per the plan/programme of various cruise companies as a port of call. Ferry services are run from Mumbai Port (Gateway of India) to Mandwa & Elephanta, and from Ferry Wharf to Mora, Revas & Karanja.
A cruise passenger facilitation centre has been completed at Chennai Port on 31st July 2017 with an expenditure of Rs. 17.54 crores. An international Cruise terminal is under construction at Mumbai Port at an estimated cost of Rs. 300 crores. The Ministry of Tourism has sanctioned an amount of Rs. 12.50 crores for this project out of which Rs. 5 cores have already been released. A domestic cruise terminal has also been developed at Mumbai Port at an estimated cost of Rs. 14 crores. It is proposed to construct another cruise terminal facility in the Ernakulam 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 have been released.
This information was given by the Minister of State for Shipping and Finance Shri Pon. Radhakrishnan in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha.