Dal gets motorized Shikara
Srinagar, Sep 5: Dal Lake, which is known for its panoramic beauty has got a new attraction to woo tourists: A motorized Shikara, which looks traditional but is made of fiber-glass.
These fiber-boats with motorized engines are being introduced by Kashmir Motors with a “view to provide people Shikara ride at cheap rates”.
Managing Director, Kashmir Motors, Ufair Ajaz said they have introduced this concept to add innovation to traditional boat ride. “Traditional Kashmiri Shikara, which is made up of Deodar is much costly than the one made up of fiber having a longer life span,” Ajaz said.
“I feel that our traditional Shikaras will gradually fade away due to shortage of the costly timber. Wooden Shikara costs around Rs 2 Lakhs, which is out of reach for many Shikarawalas,” he said.
Ajaz added that on average, a Shikarawala has to spend around Rs 20,000 on its annual maintenance.
“The Fibre Shikara, which we have introduced will cost around Rs 1.25 lakh with motor, which requires no maintenance and would double the earnings of the Shikarawala as it would run on motor having highest mileage,” said Ajaz.
He explained that the boat ships with dual option for ride: Manually as well as with a Honda engine. “We have reckoned that Shikarawala usually earns around Rs 400 per hour during the peak tourist season but through the motorized Shikara, one can earn more than double this amount. Moreover, the Shikara will run for around nine stops in the Dal Lake in a litre of petrol,” Ajaz added.
“The Japanese Honda engine used in the fiber Shikara would have marine technology and adheres to all pollution norms. Boats with the same engines are seen in Switzerland as well,” he added.
The local boatmen are excited about the fiber-Shikara but want the government to launch interest-free schemes for the purchase of boats.
“We have tested the fiber-Shikara, it is good with motor that makes sure that during same period we can cover double distance and also will reduce the human effort,” said Muhammad Akbar Akhoon, a Shikarawala.
“The government should direct banks to provide us interest free loans on the fiber boat purchase so that we can avail the benefits,” he said.
Lastupdate on : Thu, 5 Sep 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 5 Sep 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 6 Sep 2013 00:00:00 IST
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