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This Assam disc rocks

Kamikaze, which doubles up as a bar and restaurant is India's first discotheque on a barge, writes Rahul Karmakar.

india Updated: Jun 05, 2006 16:27 IST

Shaking a leg will never be the same again. Not when you are in a bobbing discotheque on the river Brahmaputra.

The brainchild of city-based entrepreneur Ruly Ahmed, Kamikaze is arguably India's first discotheque on a barge. The two-storey "piece-of-junkturned-dance zone" doubles up as a bar and restaurant.

"This is the city's answer to Mumbai's Marine Drive. Though this will be a floating discotheque, it will be stationed on the bank, along MG Road," Inland Water Transport (IWT) official Pranjal Hazarika told HT. He said that during the last 10 years, the department has turned many rusty barges into commercial ventures.

Tourism officials say the discotheque would add to the city's growing reputation as a launchpad for discovering India's "exotic orient". Assam is planning a mega floating mall while the North East Chamber of Commerce and Industry had organised an international floating Expo sometime back.

The Brahmaputra was once the lifeline for the Northeast, ferrying passengers and goods to and from the region through present-day Bangladesh. But Independence confounded this river route and with the passing years, the IWT was left with scores of barges and passenger boats.

In the mid-1990s, the department hit upon the idea of leasing out the barges to private parties while launching the state-run Jolporee, a floating restaurant that also offered ethnic cultural shows aboard. At least a dozen such restaurants followed. "It was tough when we started out," said Ratul Das, one of the pioneers in the floating restaurant business. "But the trend has caught on."

First Published: Jun 05, 2006 15:36 IST