Andhra Pradesh: Finally, APTDC Tourist Boat Services To Start On Godavari & Krishna To Papi Hills, Bhavani Island Resume With Safety Checks
RAJAMAHENDRAVARAM/VIJAYAWADA: Full-fledged boating operations to Papikondalu in East Godavari and Bhavani Island in Vijayawada finally kicked off on 7 November 2021.
Tourism Minister Muttamsetti Srinivasa Rao formally launched the services at Gandi Pochamma ferry point in Devipatnam Mandal of East Godavari two years after boating to the famous Papi Hills was stopped due to a boat mishap on the Godavari on September 15, 2019.
Andhra Pradesh State Tourism Minister Muttamsetti Srinivasa Rao stated that if the Polavaram Irrigation project is completed, the places around the project will become great tourist attractions. He also inaugurated a floating restaurant at Padmavathi Ghat Rajamahendravaram which was constructed at a cost of Rs 70 lakh. He said steps have been taken to construct resorts under public private partnership at Pichukulanka, Dowleswaram Barrage, Rajamahendravaram at a cost of Rs 250 crore.
While boating to Papikondalu is not new, what was unique this time was the extra safety measures the government had taken to ensure the safety of passengers. The boats that cruised on Sunday left in a batch of five boats and they had a pilot boat ahead of them. The Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation is charging Rs 1,250 per head, including road transport, breakfast, lunch, tea and snacks.
All the boat drivers are well trained and have been given a perfect route map and markings of danger spots. All drivers have been given mobile phones and walkie-talkie sets. All the passengers were supplied with masks and sanitizers. Every passenger was made to wear a lifejacket.
Five control rooms have been set up at various boating points and security measures have been stepped up. Only after inspections under three categories near the control rooms, and receipt of the dispatch certificate issued by the Revenue department the tourist boats were allowed to proceed. The first journey was an eventful and memorable one, the passengers told The Hans India on return.
The journey commenced at 11.30 am after puja at Gandi Pochamma boating point. It reached Papikondalu at 3.15 pm and after a 15-minute break left the place and reached Gandi Pochamma’s boating point by 6 pm.
In Vijayawada, the public thronged Berm Park on the banks of Krishna river to enjoy a boat ride to Bhavani Island on the first Sunday of the auspicious Karthika Masam. The boating operations on the river were halted three months ago due to heavy inflows to the Krishna. APTDC officials said five boats are allowed to operate on the Island from 9 am to 5 pm every day.
Floating Restaurant Inaugurated
Tourism Minister Muttamsetti Srinivasa Rao inaugurated a floating restaurant, established at Rs 70 lakh at Padmavathi Ghat in Rajamahendravaram, on Sunday and added Pichuka Lanka development will be done in public-private partnership mode.