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Kashi Boatman Block Sail of Ganga Cruise Jan 01st, 2019 from Times of India

Four Terminal Setup up for passenger movement in Ganga Ardh Kumbh 2019

The ongoing strike of boatmen intensified on Monday after the boatmen blocked the waterway in Ganga to protest against the cruise operator being allowed to board passenger from Assi Ghat apart from Khidkiya Ghat.

The strike spoiled the plans of New Year celebrations of people visiting the ghats for boat ride and to enjoy New Year’s eve on the river banks.

On the fourth consecutive day of their strike on Monday, boatmen blocked the waterway in river Ganga to disrupt the cruise movement to protest against increase in points of passenger collection for cruise operator. They met district magistrate Surendra Singh during which the DM suggested some remedial measures but failed to convince them to call off the stir .

Boatmen tied boats between both the banks of the Ganga when cruise operator were boarding passengers at the ghats to disrupt the cruise operation. They said that they would not allow the cruise to operate.

Leaders of boatmen Pramod Majhi and Shambhu Sahani said following an invitation for talks by the district administration they met the DM on Monday morning.

“The DM offered many proposals for the welfare of boatmen fraternity, informed about subsidies to be given to us for converting our existing diesel motor operated boats into CNG, battery or petrol fuelled engine boats. We welcomed all those proposals of the DM. However, he did not give any written assurance against our demand of stopping cruise operators from collecting passengers from ghats like Assi”, they said.

DM said, “Talks with boatmen were positive as they welcomed all the proposals but were rigid on demand of stopping cruise from collecting passenger from other points. Fulfilling this demand is difficult because the cruise service had been started after completing all legal formalities.”

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