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Cruise denied stopover due to expansion work at port


The Gopalpur Ports Limited on Sunday said the ongoing construction work as part of expansion was the reason behind luxury cruise liner Silver Discoverer not given permission to anchor.

“In line with its policy of international best practice in safety and security, shipping service firm JM Baxi and travel agency Travel Link were informed well in advance about the port’s inability to ensure passenger’s safety,” port’s corporate affairs and communications head Jagdish Chandra Rout said.

Gopalpur Port is under construction for a major expansion. Over 1,000 workmen and significant onshore and off shore equipment have been deployed and continuous round-the-clock activity is underway.

Rout informed that the port neither has facilities nor is designed for passenger movement and said JM Baxi was advised accordingly to make safe alternative plans for the international visitors. Luxury cruise liner Silver Discoverer, which will be on a voyage to India, Bangladesh and Myanmar from Chennai on January 22 and dock its anchor in Odisha for the first time at Paradip Port on January 26, was keen to have a stopover at Gopalpur port.

Gopalpur Ports authorities said allowing the cruise liner to dock without adequate facility for safe landing of passengers and ongoing construction activities would have been unacceptable to the port management and may have also reflected poorly on Indian tourism.