Watch | Luxury bus-boat service in Srinagar

A video on the state-of-the-art luxury water buses in Jhelum river that could provide an alternate mode of transportation

The 170 km long Jhelum river in Srinagar is set to get its very own luxury bus-boat service.

The first-ever trial run of an air-conditioned water bus took place in July and has rekindled the hope of providing a possible alternate mode of transportation of the once buzzing nerve centre of business in Kashmir.

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Authorities in the Jammu and Kashmir government hope to attract more tourists with the luxury water bus.

Passengers can enjoy the sights along the banks of the river through the glass windows that cover the boat on all sides.

The state-of-the-art vessel has been shipped from New Zealand and has a music system and a television.

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The water bus is a 35-seater covered boat and has the capacity to carry 30 passengers and five crew members.

For centuries, the Jhelum river was the most active mode of transportation and would ferry fruits, grains and timber from one end of the Valley to another.

In the first part of this century, it slowly got reduced to ceremonial processions by the Dogra rulers.

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In 1945, Jawaharlal Nehru, his daughter Indira Gandhi, Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad also took part in a boat procession from Srinagar to Sopore in north Kashmir.

Over the period of time, the river fronts have grown shabby, with dumping sites coming up around it.

Navigation on the river is defunct now.

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If the luxury bus-boat service becomes a permanent feature, it will help tourists as well as locals reconnect with the dying past.

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