A fleet of 10 solar ferries will be added by the Ayodhya Development Authority (ADA) to transport tourists around the temple town.
According to a senior officer of the housing and urban planning division, the ADA plans to improve the infrastructure. The introduction of solar ferries is a first step in that direction.
The ferries will be equipped with a GPS navigation system, and can travel at a maximum speed exceeding 10 knots. The ferries can carry between 6 and 50 people.
Vishal Singh, vice chairman of the ADA said, “We have already floated bids and intend to provide a better experience for the visitors.” The agency will manage the 10 ferries and give a portion of its profits to the local authority.
Although there was some anger among the boatmen who had been operating steamer boats for their livelihood, they were assured that the new venture would provide employment opportunities for the residents.
The agency will manage the business. The local boys and boatmen, however, will be employed. The official stated that it would be a good thing for the community if there is more activity on the Saryu River.”
The roofs of the ferry will be fitted with solar panels and a waterproof lithium battery. The agency will receive a minimum term of five years. However, the option of extending the memorandum between the parties to fifteen years is available.