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Previous state governments fail Kashmiris, unable to introduce water transport
10/4/2019 11:09:28 PM
Jehangir Rashid
Early Times Report
srinagar, Oct 4: At a time when the whole world is fighting the pollution of different forms the lackadaisical attitude of the people at helm in the past ensured that people of Kashmir do not find any solution to the automobile pollution.
Some years back then state government claimed that the people of Kashmir would feel relieved from the automobile pollution. The people at helm announced that water transport would be introduced in Srinagar and then it would be extended to the other districts of Kashmir valley.
Sources told Early Times that non-seriousness of the successive state governments to introduce the water transport meant that automobile pollution level reached an alarming proportion in the summer capital of the state. The situation is not different in the other districts of the state including those falling in the Kashmir valley.
"Couple of years back the state government launched an initiative aimed to give a breathing space to the people of Srinagar. The government started the free water transport facility for the people in the waters of Dal Lake and Jhelum. Irony is that very few people knew about this facility and as such the initiative did not achieve the desired results," said sources.
At the time of introduction of the water transport facility it was opined that facility would lead to decongestion of Srinagar. It was also thought that water transport would provide an alternative to the people of Srinagar when it comes to availing the transport services.
"At that time it was said that free water transport would be available to the public in river Jhelum for a period of one month on trial basis. Later on it was thought that the service would be used on commercial lines thus providing relief to the common masses of Kashmir. Neither the free service nor the commercial service achieved desired results thus causing problems for the masses," said sources.
The state government at that time had said that the action plan with regard to the water transport in Srinagar has been prepared as per the water transport standards prevalent in Italy and some other European countries. It was also claimed that water transport would add yet another dimension to tourism of Kashmir.
"The water transport would have given fillip to the tourism industry besides extending means of transport to general masses thus decongesting traffic in Srinagar. It would have also generated employment opportunities for Shikara owners besides unemployed youth, but that was not to be," said sources.
For the trial run, two motor boats of Jammu & Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation and one motor driven Shikara moved from start point to the end point. Initially two motor boats with carrying capacity of 18 persons in one boat and eight persons in another boat were introduced for locals as well as tourists.
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