Revival of water transport in Kashmir, bus boats bought from New Zealand

The Jammu and Kashmir government is planning to revive river transport in the Kashmir Valley. Three bus boats have been brought from New Zealand to ply on river Jhelum in Srinagar. This is after decades that a river transport facility would be thrown open for tourists and the public as well.

People can take this boat ride from the Lasjan area of Srinagar to the interior of downtown. The Lieutenent Governor (LG) of Jammu and Kashmir has pushed for this initiative with the tourism department. They say that it will be the cheapest mode of transport.

“This is the revival of water transport in Srinagar, It will start from next month, we have procured all the equipment. I think it can be the optimal utilisation of water resources and it will be the means of transport in future. It will be way cheaper than road transport. In the world it’s cheapest mode of transport. We have a fleet of three boats and in future they will procure more. All the decks are ready,” said Imran Malik, Director, Private company.

Each boat has 35 seats with air conditioning. And the whole cover is made of glass. It will make the passengers enjoy the view of Srinagar city and make it a memorable ride. The tourism department will promote it so that more and more people take this mode of transport while travelling in the city. 

“This is the first kind of this boat, which the people of Kashmir will be seeing, this is a bus boat which we have imported from New Zealand and it has a capacity of 35 passengers including 5 crew members. The plan is that it will ply from Batawara to Veer Chattabal. This will have 6 stops and we are doing trial runs and we will hand over it to JK Tourism. It’s a type of tourist attraction, it will be available to tourists and locals. It’s an add-on to the road transport, the roads are congested and if we get 5-6 of these in future this will help take the pressure off from road transport.” said Abdul Hanan, Manager.

The engineers of the boat have come from Mumbai and will be training the locals in case there are any technical issues with the bus boat. 

“I am training local engineers so that if there is an issue they can handle it. I am also telling them how to run this boat. If there is any issue ever then we can even take care of the problem remotely,” said Bharat Gupta, Engineer.

As the roads are congested with traffic, the river transport will help in taking the pressure off from the roads in Srinagar city. 

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