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Srinagar gets its first bus boat

Srinagar, July 18

In order to decongest roads in Srinagar city and to revive the centuries old mode of water transport, Kashmir’s first bus boat has started its trial run in the Jhelum river.

The state-of-the-art bus boat has a seating capacity of 35 passengers and five crew members. The crew includes a driver and four rescuers. It operates from Pantha Chowk on Srinagar outskirts to Qamarwari downstream Jhelum.

To ease traffic

The move is aimed at reviving water transport to ease road traffic in Srinagar city
Imran Malik, director of Sukhna Enterprises, says the Rs2-crore project is under the PM’s package — Swadesh Darshan

“In order to revive the historical water transport and to decongest the roads in Srinagar city, the bus boat is an ideal option. At present, we have six floating docks on Jhelum banks to pick and drop passengers,” said Imran Malik, director of Sukhna Enterprises, who procured the bus boat.

“There was a global tender from the Jamp;K Tourism Development Corporation (JKTDC) and we were the successful tenderers. There are three components in this Rs 2 crore project. The bus boat has been imported from New Zealand, the rescuer boat from Dubai and the luxury boat has been brought from the US. Six floating docks are from Taiwan,” he said.

He said the initiative had been taken under the Prime Minister’s developmental package called Swadesh Darshan. Malik is presently operating the bus boat on a trial basis for the tourism corporation. “From tomorrow (Monday), we will start training the staff of the tourism corporation to operate the bus boat. Once trained, the department will operate the project on its own,” he added. — IANS

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