Srinagar: Owing to rising demand for Jhelum cruise, Jammu and Kashmir’s tourism department on Wednesday decided to continue operation of water transport on river Jhelum from the Ghat near GPO Srinagar to Khanqah-e-Moula shrine.
The department of tourism had launched the water transport service on July 11, this year, on trail basis on the directions of the state Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Baseer Ahmed Khan. The department will operate the service twice a day at 10 am and at 4 pm at Rs 25 per head.
The service has been launched jointly by Department of Tourism Kashmir, Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation and the divisional administration and to promote water transport and heritage tourism.
Director Tourism Kashmir Mahmood A Shah said earlier the Jhelum cruise was run on promotional basis without any charges which attracted locals as well as tourists.
“Now, the services will continue at Rs 25 per head which is still highly subsidized service to promote water transport and historic places on the banks of River Jhelum,” said the director.
Irrigation and Flood Control Department will be maintaining the Ghat as an anchor point for the motor boats.
Famous structures like Hanuman temple, old assembly complex, old secretariat, heritage sites like Budshah tomb, famous and historic Muslim shrines like that of Mir Syed Ali Hamadani at Khankhai Moula in Srinagar, Gopi Nath Ji Ashram at Habba Kadal, besides seven heritage bridges are the important sites on the banks of the river Jhelum.
“This is a great step taken by tourism department. It will help in promoting heritage and spiritual tourism in Jammu and Kashmir. I would request department of tourism to train youngsters from Srinagar’s downtown who can work as tourist guides. This will generate employment for our youngsters and simultaneously promote these sectors,” Director Space communication Amit Wanchoo told Mirror.
Director tourism said the service will boost the tourism as there are many heritage sites on the banks of river Jhelum which tourists will want to see.
“We have recently released the drone video on the seven bridges on river Jhelum which received overwhelming response from the locals. Both locals and tourists want to have take a cruise on river Jhelum to see the historic places,” he added.