State Affairs

Srinagar aims at ambitious waterway

SRINAGAR: If the month-long tests are successful, a river-transport system stretching from south Kashmir to Srinagar will be opened, reports Hindustan Times.

The glistening Jhelum glides through Srinagar, flowing past heritage buildings, historical shrines and ancient bridges. However, the river has never been tapped successfully as a watery highway in a city struggling to cope with roads overrun by cars. But Jhelum could be the way for people in Srinagar to travel as the Jammu and Kashmir government this July began trials for water transport programme on the river.

The trials were conducted from July 11 with two motorboats of the Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation (JKTDC) and a motor-driven shikara is likely to run 5km every day between the iconic Zero Bridge in downtown Srinagar and Zaina Kadal in the old quarters.

A river ferry could be a muchneeded alternative to avoid the chronic congestion on the road connecting these two points.

The Jhelum programme aims at reviving the traditional water transport system in Srinagar, known as an outdoorsy city of tree-hugging Mughal gardens and the Dal lake, which abounds with shikaras and houseboats.

Planners have set their ambitions high, saying the Jhelum could power Srinagar’s potential to own a robust river transport system like Venice and Amsterdam.

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