Srinagar: The waterfront near Srinagar has begun to look like Venice thanks to the newly-launched water taxis. They are expected to hit two birds with one stone, easing road traffic on the one hand and luring in more tourists on the other.
The taxis have been launched on the Jhelum to ferry office goers who want to avoid traffic snarls. The eight-seaters will run from Lal Chowk zero bridge to Chattabal, a distance of 16 km.
The water taxis will not only ease Srinagar's traffic congestion but a sail on the river Jhelum can also give a peek at the city that it was.
Commuting to office on these boats can also be a pleasure trip. The journey gives the passengers a magnificent view of Kashmir's syncretic culture with its many Sufi shrines and temples.
Divisional Commissioner Asghar Samoon said, "Yes, we are trying to revive the history of Kashmir, rather the past glory of Kashmir. A one way trip now costs Rs 60 per person but locals hope the fare will be brought down once the service gets popular."
Mudassir, a local, said, "I am feeling great... It is a good step. No traffic, no accidents... No trouble.. The government should privatise this and the fare should be lowered.."
And not just the local commuters, officials believe the water taxis will also attract tourists visiting the valley.