Mumbai: Post the launch of the first luxury cruise service between Mumbai and Goa, there has been a lot of activity in the coastal side of Maharashtra. This is going to be an on-going process, stated Maharashtra tourism minister Jaykumar Rawal.
He added that there are chances that Maharashtra government might suggest a halt in Sindhudurg or Ratnagiri for Mumbai-Goa services.
Rawal said, “We will be developing Sindhudurg and Ratnagiri (to promote coastal tourism). Mumbai-Goa cruise may have a stop in one of these places. It (the service) is in initially stages. Let us see how it pans out.” Just recently, the first cruise ship, Angriya, sailed from Mumbai to Goa. This ship has the capacity of hosting up to 400 passengers. But this is not it, there will be many such ships sailing from Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT). “Every 10 days, there will be a cruise liner that will come to MbPT.
Mumbai will become the home for these cruise liners. We are looking at getting 700 ships to Mumbai and generating a revenue of Rs 30,000 crore.” He added this will be a huge employment generator in the region. While Maharashtra readies to welcome international tourists with these cruise liners, the recent tragedy where one person drowned after a boat capsized, could be a put off.
When quizzed about it, Rawal assured, “This was a one-off accident that took place. But such accidents should be avoided and necessary security precautions should be taken.” He stated, “But when we look at big ferries or cruises, they all have met international standards in terms of safety and security requirements.” Just last week, the boat heading towards the proposed site for the Shivaji memorial capsized.
The boat was carrying 25 people, including a couple of Maharashtra government officials. At present, there is no need for ferries to connect passengers cruise. “There is no plan but if there are such plans the government will meet international standards because safety is first.”