Civic body introduces ‘shikara’ boat rides in Bhopal lake

Bhopal, June 15 (IANS) Months after the National Green Tribunal (NGT) restrained the authorities from operating cruise or any other motor boats in Bhopal’s Upper Lake, the local civic body has brought an alternative and introduced the ‘shikara’ boat rides for tourists.

The Bhopal Municipal Corporation on Friday introduced a shikara boat as a pilot project in a city lake.

Located on the side of Shyamla Hills, the lake popularly known as the ‘Bada Talab’ is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Madhya Pradesh’s capital city.

Shikara rowing boats are mostly seen in the Dal Lake and are one of the major tourist attractions in Srinagar.

As shikara boats are primarily operated in still or standing water bodies while the ‘Bada Talab’ have currents, just a single boat has been introduced on a pilot basis to see whether it succeeds or not. “If the pilot project gets successful, we will design more (shikara) boats to provide an alternative to cruise for the people,” Bhopal Mayor, Malti Rai told IANS.

Earlier, the state’s Tourist Department operated a mini cruise fitted with a music system and a cafeteria in the Upper Lake. However, the NGT in September last year had put a ban on it citing violation of various environmental laws.

–IANS

pd/sha

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