Srinagar: Water taxis became a reality in Kashmir as authorities on Saturday launched the service on Jhelum River in an effort to reduce traffic congestion in the city.

The first water taxi having a total capacity of eight passengers was flagged off from Peerzoo to Chattabal Veer here providing an alternate route to locals.

"Besides providing an alternate transport facility to locals, the new service is expected to attract tourists visiting Kashmirm," a senior government official said. The idea to start water transport on large-scale on river Jhelum was mooted several years back.

The work picked up pace with Divisional Commissioner (Kashmir) Asgar Hassan Samoon ordering early plying of water boats from Peerzoo to Chattabal Veer till arrangements for starting water transport on Jhelum on a massive scale are put in place.

"The operations will be carried out from existing ghats for boarding and de-boarding purposes till the permanent infrastructure is established,” the official said.

The fare for the stretch had been fixed at Rs 60 while charges for one ghat to another ghat would be Rs 25 per passenger, he said.

Proper printed tickets would be issued by the Irrigation and Flood Control Department to the service providers, the official said.


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