Hovercraft, ferry boat waterway service on anvil for Haridwar Mahakumbh 2021
Taking a cue from the use of hovercrafts and ferry boats on Ganga and Yamuna during Prayagraj Kumbh in 2019, similar waterway service is being envisaged for Mahakumbh 2021 in Haridwar, Uttarakhand.
The authorities are planning to use hovercrafts and ferry boats in Haridwar and between Haridwar and Rishikesh to ferry pilgrims and tourists.
In this regard, Kumbh Mela administration has already given a presentation in New Delhi to officials of the union ministry of shipping.
Kumbh Mela officer-in-charge Deepak Rawat said a communique has been sent to the union ministry of shipping. “As soon as the permission is granted, steps will be taken on priority to operate waterway services using hovercrafts or ferryboats,” he said. Due to Covid-19 pandemic, development and progress got affected in realisation of this inland water project.
“Mela administration is committed to making Mahakumbh 2021 a memorable experience for the pilgrims. Using river Ganga as a waterway will be a landmark development and a major attraction for pilgrims and tourists. It will also lessen traffic congestion on highway stretch and on inner roads, in particular during the festive baths,” said Rawat.
Notably, union minister of state for shipping Mansukh Laxmanbhai Mandaviya, during his visit to Haridwar last year, had backed the hovercraft/ferryboat service on Ganga during Kumbh.
Hovercraft and ferry boats can carry around 100-125 people in one stretch. Considering more than 8 crore pilgrims are expected to arrive during the 2021 Mahakumbh, alternative modes of transportation in and around Haridwar have gained significance.