Posted January 1, 2019
The West Bengal government has taken initiatives to dredge Muriganga river with state-of-the-art machinery to facilitate round-the-clock ferry services to Gangasagar Mela, a state minister said.
The work, once complete, will also reduce travel time between the ferry jetties and Sagar island in South 24 Parganas, he said.
Every year on Makar Sankranti (January 14), thousands of pilgrims gather at Sagar island to take a dip at the confluence of the Ganga and Bay of Bengal and offer prayers at the Kapil Muni Temple.
Low tide in the Ganges delta often makes it difficult for the vessels to operate, leaving the pilgrims waiting at the ghats for long.
"We have taken up scientific dredging with machinery imported from Holland. It will cut down travel time to the island by at least three hours," Mahapatra told PTI.
The state government has allocated Rs 120 crore for the entire project, the minister said, adding that the budget also included river maintenance for the next eight years.
"By December 31, we will finish majority of the work so that big buses can be ferried to the island for transportation of pilgrims from one point to another. The rest of the work will be finished by January 9 and subsequently all jetties will be opened," the minister explained.
At the moment, around four out of 10 jetties is operational, Mahapatra said.
The state irrigation department has entered into an arrangement with the Central Dredging Corporation for the project, the minister said.
Once the dredging work is complete, there will be 24- hour ferry services to the Sagar Island, he added.
Source: Business Standard