The Indian state of Kashmir has bought three new water bus boats from New Zealand to revive river water transport in the state.
This was reported in several local media outlets from Srinagar, the capital of the Indian state of Kashmir.
One of the media outlets, WION News, reported that the Jammu and Kashmir government is planning to revive river transport in the Kashmir Valley and is trialling three new water-bus boats bought from New Zealand.
People can take this boat ride from the Lasjan area of Srinagar to the interior of downtown, and the government is intending to make it the cheapest mode of transport in the area, which will further take away some pressure on the heavily congested traffic in the area.
For the uninitiated, Kashmir is one of the world's most beautiful places located in the Himalayan mountains and one of the epicentres of global tourism before the decade long foreign-sponsored insurgency in the early nineties had destroyed the tourism industry in the region.
Currently, three bus boats have been bought by the Kashmir government and handed to local tour operators in Srinagar to trial the boat and provide feedback about the business case.
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 five crew members. The plan is that it will ply from Batawara to Veer Chattabal. This will have six stops, and we are doing trial runs, and we will hand it over 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 Imran Malik, Director of Private company currently trialling "water bus boats."
This development not only augurs well for the people of the Indian state of Kashmir but also prospects of bilateral trade between New Zealand and India as if the trialling is successful, then there could potentially be more orders for Kiwi-firms.
The Indian Weekender has approached the office of New Zealand's Tarde Commissioner and Consul General in India for more details, and a response is awaited.
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