Ayodhya to have recreational island

Ayodhya (UP), May 28 (IANS): An island near the Guptar Ghat in Ayodhya will be developed as an island of recreation for tourists in the holy city.

Vishal Singh, vice-chairman, Ayodhya Development Authority, said, "We have identified a marooned patch of sandbar close to Guptar Ghat, which will be developed into an island with a food, beverages and amusement activity centre."

The sandbar is situated within the Saryu river and will also have food kiosks, shopping vends, souvenir shops and facilities for some recreational activities.

The island is expected to host hundreds of tourists who visit the city.

"The sandbar has been selected strategically as it is situated close to the jetty. We are also going to launch cruise, houseboat and solar ferry service and Guptar Ghat is going to be an important transit point," said the officer.

Though the island selected for the makeover is about 75,000 square metres wide, only a portion is going to be used for the commercial activity and will provide the serene and scenic view of the ghat and the river banks.

Officials said that no alcoholic or tobacco products will be sold, and no permanent structure would be allowed to be constructed.

"During heavy rain the island will submerge in water. Hence only low-cost kiosks and vends or one that can be dismantled and taken away will be allowed," said the officer.

As electricity power is not available on the patch, either solar panels or rechargeable batteries are going to be used.

The authority said steps are going to be taken to make sure no waste water or litter is discharged in the river and vigil is going to be maintained.

"The project will take off only if a private bidder comes forward to operate the island and find interested shopkeepers and entrepreneurs," he added.


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