Boating in Ujh barrage, Chenab river and Thein dam has not started properly even after completion of ground work and hype created at oftentimes about better infrastructure for recreational activities.
It has been mainly responsible for a playful approach by concerned officials in the tourism department. Consequently, despite having immense potential, the tourism in Jammu region has not attracted people that much.
Sources told Excelsior that often announcements were made by the government regarding the push of recreational activities in order to attract tourists and some steps were also initiated. Unfortunately, the non-serious and lazy approach of the officials stopped plans from being turned into a reality.
In January this year, the River Tawi Irrigation Complex (RTIC) allowed the Chief Executive Officer of the Lakhanpur Sarthal Development Authority for allowing boating on few conditions. It was mentioned in the permission granted that the average boating area will be three hectares with an average depth of 1 metre.
The cleanliness of the water body will be the responsibility of the applicant. If, at any time, RTIC feels that if the water body is not clean enough then the RTIC will be allowed to get cleaned the area at the cost of the applicant. Also, the applicant has to adhere to all the safety measures as decided by J&K Adventure Tour guidelines.
However, even after 10 months have passed since the permission was granted, boating in ujh barrage has not started without any proper reason.
A similar case could be noticed about starting boating in Thein Dam even after construction of Atal Setu bridge at Basohli, reservoir is attracting visitors from all parts of the nation. The plan to add boating was being discussed but the lack of safety measures compelled the Additional Deputy Commissioner of Basohli to constitute a committee of officers in July, last year.
Several features were recommended by the committee like deployment of SDRF team, deployment of life saving jackets for tourists, consultation of area of operation with dam authorities and third party insurances of the tourists. The Bani Basohli development authority was asked to incorporate these suggestions made by the committee before September 10, 2019 which it failed to comply with.