LUCKNOW: The Ayodhya Development Authority has started the process to add a fleet of 10 solar ferries to take the tourists around the temple town.
The tour of the Saryu ghats on steamers is extremely popular among visitors and hundreds of families enjoy the boat rides on a daily basis. To welcome foreign tourists and those looking for a luxurious tour on the river, the Ayodhya Development Authority is planning to upgrade the infrastructure and introducing swanky solar ferries will be a step in that direction, said a senior officer from the housing and urban planning department.
The ferries will have a GPS navigation system and a maximum speed of 10 knots. The carrying capacity of the ferries will range between 6 to 50 individuals. “We have already floated the bids and intend to offer a better experience to the visitors,” said vice-chairman of the authority,Vishal Singh.
The agency will operate the fleet of 10 ferries and provide a share from its earnings to the local authority. While some resentment was brewing among the existing boatmen who have been earning their livelihood by operating steamer boats, they were assured that the local residents will get job opportunities through the new venture.
A steamer operator, Rohit Nishad said, “The agency will run the business. But the local boys and boatmen will get jobs, we have been told. It will be good for our community if more activity is encouraged over the Saryu river.”
Solar panels will be installed on the roofs of the ferries along with a waterproof lithium battery. A minimum tenure of five years will be offered to the agency with an option to extend the memorandum of understating between the two parties to 15 years.
To rule out possibilities of any untoward incident, the ferries will be equipped with fire extinguishers, first-aid box and mooring arrangement, among other features. The authority will also secure a certificate from the Indian Register of Shipping along with class compliance certificate.





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