The National Capital Region (NCR) could soon set water taxi services as Centre is evaluating five bids for operating the service.
The service would ferry tourists and public from Palla (Delhi-Haryana border) to Wazirabad. This will reduce the travel time between the two points to just 45 minutes.
The project, undertaken by Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), is a priority of Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari. He had said the government would consult a Netherlands-based government agency for the project as the European country has expertise in the subject.
The process to procure vessels and develop infrastructure has already started. The authority has moved a plea seeking environmental clearance from the National Green Tribunal (NGT).
The cost of the project is estimated to be around Rs 28 crore, including the cost of building terminals, dredging and also the cost of vessels.
The stretch for water taxi was identified after a feasibility study. A site inspection was done by Delhi water minister Kapil Mishra, IWAI, irrigation and flood control department and Delhi Jal Board (DJB).
The study found out that Yamuna upstream, which is almost 22 kms from Wazirabad to Palla, is less polluted and has the ‘required depth’ for navigation.
It said water taxi and recreation activities are the most feasible and environmentally sustainable for this stretch.
This would be a first-of-its-kind recreational project for Delhiites and for ferrying passengers.
If successful, the project will pave way for Centre’s ambitious Delhi-Agra steamer service through Agra Canal project.