Varanasi boats to be CNG-driven now. Image Source: IANS News

Varanasi, Feb 25 : To prevent boat traffic jams on the Ganga river in Varanasi, the district administration has decided to set up lane separators on the river.

Divisional commissioner Deepak Agrawal told reporters, "The Ganga, which was initially used for boating by pilgrims and tourists mainly for sightseeing, is now going to be used for the public transport also. The waterway for public transport system is being developed.

"As the Ganga in Varanasi is also part of National Waterway-I on which movement of cargo vessels has started and cruise boats are being introduced, the number of various kinds of big and small motorized and manually operated boats is also increasing. Hence, ensuring safety to prevent accidents is the responsibility of the administration." The pattern of boat movement was observed after which the decision to introduce lane separators was taken, he added.

Officials have been asked to consult the Prayagraj administration which had been using lane separators during the Kumbh Mela in 2019.

The commissioner said, "Lanes will be separated to ensure cargo vessels, cruise, speed boats and traditional ones move in separate lanes and accidents are prevented. The lane separators will be placed by giving sufficient passages to boats crossing the river to reach the opposite bank." The role of river police will also increase with the beginning of water traffic regulation and floating picket points will also be a part of this project.

The officials are also exploring the possibility of bringing floating bathing platforms near Ghats frequented by people. The floating platforms will have seating arrangement and changing rooms. People can reach the floating platforms for bathing by boats.

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