BIO­MET­RICS WAIVED OFF FOR CRUISE PAS­SEN­GERS TILL 2020

The New Indian Express - - CHENNAI -

THE Union Home Min­istry has waived off bio­met­ric en­rol­ment for cruise pas­sen­gers ar­riv­ing on e-visa in Chen­nai and four other ports till De­cem­ber 31, 2020. The other four ports are Mum­bai, Cochin, Mor­mu­gao and New Man­ga­lore.

This was re­vealed at the in­au­gu­ra­tion of the mod­ernised cruise ter­mi­nal at West Quay IV in Chen­nai Port by Union Min­is­ter of State for Tourism K J Alphons. The Pas­sen­ger Fa­cil­i­ta­tion Cen­tre in the ex­ist­ing pas­sen­ger ter­mi­nal at WQ IV at Chen­nai Port Trust has been mod­ernised with the fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance of `17.24 crore un­der the scheme ‘As­sis­tance to Cen­tral Agen­cies for Tourism In­fras­truc­ture Devel­op­ment’ from the Min­istry of Tourism.

It is learnt that the Union govern­ment has pre­pared a stan­dard op­er­at­ing pro­ce­dure to fa­cil­i­tate clear­ance of cruise ves­sels and pas­sen­gers through all In­dian ports in con­sul­ta­tion with im­mi­gra­tion, cus­toms, se­cu­rity agen­cies and other stake-hold­ers.

Ves­sels charges have been stan­dard­ised across the coun­try with the in­tro­duc­tion of a uni­form ves­sel-re­lated tar­iff of USD 0.35 per GRT for cruise ves­sel stay for 12 hours at any In­dian port.

At the Chen­nai Port, the up­graded fa­cil­i­ties and eased-out pro­ce­dures will en­sure quick clear­ance in and out of the port en­abling them max­i­mum time at their dis­posal.

Mean­while, Alphons also took part in the Port Day cel­e­bra­tions where var­i­ous events such as cul­tural pro­grammes and com­pe­ti­tions were or­gan­ised.

Best busi­ness awards were dis­trib­uted to port users on the ba­sis of per­for­mance pa­ram­e­ters such as high­est num­ber of ves­sels han­dled, high­est ton­nage han­dled and record break­ing per­for­mances by Steve­dores etc.

D SAM­PATH KU­MAR

(From left) Vel­la­mandi Natara­jan, TN Min­is­ter for Tourism, Union min­is­ters Pon Rad­hakr­ish­nan and KJ Alphons, with P Raveen­dran, Chair­man of the Chen­nai Port Trust, dur­ing the open­ing of the mod­ernised cruise ter­mi­nal on Fri­day; the mod­ernised ter­mi­nal build­ing |

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