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India Waterways Conclave 2022 Can Bring Surge in Tourism

image courtesy of Bishnu Sarangi from Pixabay e1649377298800

Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways in the Government of India, along with the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), is organizing “Waterways Conclave 2022” from April 11-12 in Dibrugarh, Assam.

In line with the aspirations of PM Gati Shakti’s National Masterplan, the Waterways Conclave aims for speedy development of multimodal projects in the northeastern region to energize the economic activities and augment employment generation.

The waterways sector can potentially bring about an upsurge in bilateral trade and investment through collaboration. The Waterways Conclave will deliberate on the new possibilities for cooperation in the waterways sector between nations. The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) and ICC (International Chamber of Commerce) are the industry partner for the two-day conclave.

Shri Sarbananda Sonowal, Honorable Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways and AYUSH, Government of India; Shri Nitin Gadkari, Honorable Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Government of India; and the Honorable Chief Minister of Assam, Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma, shall attend the event and address during the Inaugural Session on the April 12, 2022.

Shri Nakap Nalo, Hon’ble Minister of Tourism, Transport and Civil Aviation. Government of Arunachal Pradesh, Chief Minister(s) of North-eastern States, Dr Rajkumar Ranjan Singh, Hon’ble Minister of State, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India; Shri Shripad Naik, Hon’ble Minister of State for Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Government of India; Shri Shantanu Thakur, Hon’ble Minister of State for Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Government of India; Mr Lyonpo Loknath Sharma, Hon’ble Minister of Economic Affairs, Royal Government of Bhutan, Mr Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury, Hon’ble Minister of State for Shipping, Government of Bangladesh to also address the gathering.

Waterways Conclave 2022 will also be attended by various stakeholders in the waterways ecosystem, such as policymakers, senior government officials, domestic and international investors, sector experts, infrastructure players, vessel owners and operators, cruise tourism industry, cargo passengers, representatives of major ports and the Governments of Maritime States in India. In addition, expert speakers shall address the conclave on both days.

The conclave is planned with special sessions to deliberate on issues concerning the sector.

The sessions on 11th April shall have Plenary Session 1: Regional Connectivity through Waterways, where Shri Sanjeev Ranjan, Secretary, Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Government of India, and Shri Sanjay Bandopadhyaya, Chairman, Inland Waterways Authority of India, will address the gathering. Breakout Technical Session 1: Inland Vessels: Focus on Financing and Manufacturing followed by Plenary Session 2: Infrastructure development for an enhanced role of waterways and Breakout Technical Session 2: Inland Vessel Act and Rules.

The expected outcome of these two sessions shall be to identify common goals and joint strategic initiatives, the roadmap for policies and strategies for the IWT sector’s growth, infrastructural constraints in waterways logistics, and intervention to ensure seamless connectivity on waterways. The Government of India has signed bilateral agreements with the Government of Bangladesh for strengthening and reinforcing inland water transportation and marine relations. In addition, the session shall discuss infrastructure and development requirements for Waterways, including the paramount procedures to address technical challenges in maintenance.

The sessions on April 12 shall have the Inaugural session followed by Plenary Session 3: Regional Trade & Commerce: Key Issues and Interventions Session Chair: Mr. Jayant Singh, Vice Chairman, Inland Waterways Authority of India, and Breakout Technical Session 3: Unlocking the potential of regional trade through waterways followed by Plenary Session 4: River Cruise Tourism and Passenger transport and followed by Breakout Technical Session 4: Harnessing the Potential of India-Nepal trade through waterways.

These sessions will highlight the suggestions and proposals from the members serving the industry. The aim is to enhance the utilization of waterways in regional trade through different techniques and methods.

The conclave shall consider the opportunities to increase river cruise tourism and passenger transportation safety and embrace the finest international measures that benefit Indian conditions. The motive of the session is to attract domestic tourists to river cruises and promote cruise tourism.

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