Lucknow, Sep 26 (IANS): The Uttar Pradesh government is planning to launch a seaplane service with the aim of boosting tourism while simultaneously executing the plan to establish an inland waterways authority in the state to facilitate the seaplane service.
A seaplane is an aircraft designed to take off from and land on water.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the country’s first seaplane service in Gujarat in 2020.
According to a state government spokesman, a presentation on the proposed service was given in a meeting chaired by Chief Secretary Durga Shankar Mishra.
Senior officials from departments such as tourism and irrigation were also present at the meeting.
Confirming the development, Minister for Tourism and Culture Jaiveer Singh said: “We are planning to launch a seaplane service with an initial estimated investment of Rs 2,000 crore in a public-private partnership mode. A presentation on this matter was also made to the Chief Secretary by officials from the tourism department.”
The proposal aims to connect important religious and cultural cities in Uttar Pradesh such as Varanasi, Prayagraj, Ayodhya, and Mathura, as well as all the Char Dham -- Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath -- in Uttarakhand through 20-seater and 10-seater seaplane services.
Initially, the service may be launched with six seaplanes.
According to Singh, seaplanes will use existing helipads for take-off and landing, and they will also take off from land and water where available, in the form of rivers, canals, and lakes.
“A helipad will also be set up in Haridwar in Uttarakhand, on land owned by the Uttar Pradesh’s irrigation department,” he said.
The Minister stated that once launched, the service would provide a significant boost to domestic and foreign tourism in the state and help tourists save a lot of time, as they would be able to cover more tourist destinations in less time.
It should be noted that the state government has already decided to establish the Uttar Pradesh inland waterways authority to explore the potential of water transport and regulate it in the state.