Once a tourist attraction, the floating restaurant on Delhi-Amritsar national highway is now a sinking ship due to constant neglect by the state government. No maintenance or repair work has been carried out in the past few years.
The foundation stone of this historical eight-room floating restaurant was laid by the then chief minister Giani Zail Singh on 22 July 1976. It was a centre of activity as hundreds of passengers travelling on the Delhi-Amritsar route would throng the place. It is also a mandatory stop for the Delhi-Lahore buses. The steel tubes on which the restaurant rests are corroded now and have not seen a fresh coat of paint in years. Also, all eight rooms which used to accommodate visitors are in shambles and have been closed.
The sorry state of the restaurant was visible from the broken refrigerator which welcomes the guests. The creaking doors and leaking walls could lead to an unfortunate accident and the Punjab government has failed to pay any attention to its gradually declining health.
The 'Sada-e-Sarhad' (Delhi-Lahore bus service) halts at the restaurant for breakfast and lunch and the government is bound to provide better hospitality to the passengers of Delhi-Lahore bus by providing facilities like food and restrooms.
As the health of the restaurant deteriorates, travelers are losing interest and the recently constructed flyover in front of the restaurant has added to its woes.
According to the sources, last year state government was about to renovate the restaurant and sign an agreement to run it in with the collaboration with Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC). But due to some technical hindrance Punjab tourism department decided to review the whole project and rework it.