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Deal planned for travelling to India by waterway: Muhith

28 August 2014 bdnews24.com

Bangladesh will sign a deal with India to introduce waterway travel between the countries, finance minister AMA Muhith has said.
"The Cabinet Committee for Tourism Affairs has agreed on it. The treaty will be signed once the prime minister approves it," he told reporters on Wednesday.
According to 1965 deal, only cargo vessels can ply between the two countries at present, Muhit said, adding that a deal allowing passenger movement was needed urgently.
"There's an international waterway route from Singapore connecting to different countries. We will try to include ourselves in that route," said the finance minister.
He said that police protection will be beefed up at the tourism spots in Bangladesh.
"The Chittagong Hill Tracts is a tourism spot with a lot of potential. So, the security arrangements in that area have to be propped up. Besides, there should be a greater emphasis on Cox's Bazar."
Bangladesh would organise a major festival to promote tourism in the country in the 2018-19 financial year, said Muhith.
Bangladesh should focus more on river-based tour packages for foreign tourists, the minister felt.
He also stressed rail connectivity to Cox's Bazar as well as better road and waterways connectivity with Patuakhali's Kuakata beach.
Muhith claimed the Bangladeshi tourism industry has grown substantially.
"I went to Cox's Bazar for the first time in 1962. The last time I was there was in 2010. It seemed a wholly different country now."

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