District Development Commissioner Srinagar, Farooq Ahmad Lone, today launched Water Transport Services on a trial basis, from Ghat located on River Jhelum, near the erstwhile Grindlays Bank at Zero Bridge.
The DDC was accompanied by Managing Director, Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation (JKTDC) Sarmad Hafeez, Director Tourism Kashmir Mahmood A Shah and Additional Commissioner Srinagar, Abdul Rashid War.
The trial of the Water Transport Services was conducted as per the directions of the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Baseer Ahmed Khan in a meeting held on July 8, 2017.
For the trial run, two motor boats of JKTDC and one motor driven Shikara moved towards Habba Kadal bridge to and fro.
The DDC, while expressing satisfaction over the arrangement for the launch of transport services said the service would not only revive traditional water transport but at the same time would promote heritage structures on the banks of the river Jhelum.
Initially two motor boats with carrying capacity of 18 persons in one boat and eight persons in another boat at highly subsidized rates would be introduced for locals as well as tourists.
Motor driven traditional shikaras would also be available which will cross through famous seven bridges in the river Jhelum. Irrigation and Flood Control Department would be maintaining the Ghat as an anchor point for the motor boats.
Speaking on the occasion, Director Tourism Kashmir said the service would revive age old water transport services and the heritage structure and local architecture in downtown Srinagar.
He said the proposal to introduce motor driven shikaras in River Jhelum can be a viable alternative to rope in the existing registered shikara wallas for operating this service on a long term basis.
The service has been jointly launched by JKTDC and Department of Tourism Kashmir to promote Water Transport and Heritage Tourism.