India

Water taxis on the Yamuna by June?

02 Feb 2017 | By Shiladitya Ray
The Yamuna Water Taxi Project

The 143 year-old Agra Canal may soon be used again for navigation and transportation if the Yamuna Water Taxi Project is successfully implemented.

The canal, which was constructed in 1874, but closed in 1904, connects Okhla in Delhi to Mathura and Agra.

The project is expected to be completed by June, but several factors may complicate implementation.

In context: The Yamuna Water Taxi Project

02 Feb 2017Water taxis on the Yamuna by June?

Agra Canal route depends on success of water taxi project

"The water taxi project is being seen as a pilot project. Based on the response, further course of action will be decided," said an official from the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) on being asked about revival of the Agra Canal route.
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The objective of the Yamuna Water Taxi Project

ObjectiveThe objective of the Yamuna Water Taxi Project

The Yamuna Water Taxi Project, aimed at promoting tourism, plans to reduce the travel time from Wazirabad to Palla to 45 minutes.

The 20 odd kms between the two points, both of which fall beside the Yamuna in Delhi NCR, takes 3.5 hours to cover by road owing to heavy traffic and poor public transport.

DetailsThe details of the project

The Yamuna Water Taxi Project is being handled by the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI).

While the process to develop required infrastructure and procure the boats has already been started, the IWAI is still awaiting environmental clearance from the National Green Tribunal (NGT).

The project is to have five boarding points, only three of which will be opened initially.

Ferry service should be up by June

"Things are very much on the track. Tenders for dredging, three passenger vessels, and jetties have been floated. Hopefully, by the end of June, we will start the ferry service in the city," said Amitabh Verma, the chairman of IWAI.

DifficultiesObstacles to the implementation of the project

The biggest obstacle to the implementation of the project is the fluctuating water level of the Yamuna, stretches of which remain dry during summer.

Even if a way is devised to maintain water levels, the pollution levels of the Yamuna may well pose a major health hazard to potential passengers and thus hinder the success of the project.