Krishna waterway made operational in Vijayawada
Launches reintroduced on the Rayapudi-Ferry Terminal route after a gap of five years
VIJAYAWADA: After a gap of five years, the water of River Krishna has once again become a pathway of convenience and economic opportunity, as launches equipped with advanced technology have restarted ferrying passengers from the Ibrahimpatnam Ferry Terminal in NTR District to Rayapudi Terminal in Guntur District.
With an investment of Rs 70 lakhs per ferry, two newly designed launches of A Sivarama Prasad connecting Rayapudi-Ferry Terminal to and fro, have top-notch infrastructure and specialised equipment, ensuring both safety and comfort. While ticket prices have witnessed a modest increase from Rs 30 to Rs 50, the safety measures put in place reassure passengers.
Before the launches’ reintroduction, about 500 people used to commute between Rayapudi and the ferry terminal daily. Unfortunately, a tragic boat capsize incident in the Godavari River in 2018 led to the suspension of river travel across all docks. After receiving the government’s permission, Sivaram Prasad resumed operations on August 12.
Speaking to TNIE, Sivaram Prasad acknowledged the challenges he faced in his journey. “More than 200 families depend on this river for their livelihoods. Our commitment is to people’s welfare. We’re determined to keep this legacy alive, even if we initially operate at a loss. As per the deal, we have to pay Rs 21.5 lakhs per annum to the Krishna district Zilla parishad office,” he added. Sivaram Prasad revealed that at present, the launches operate every hour, connecting Rayapudi-Ferry to and fro and five trips per launch from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm.
Shaik Gouse, a TV Technician from Rayapudi village, said, “My business is spread across Mylavaram and Tiruvuru areas. The road journey involves hours of travel, costing a significant amount. Launch has offered offers a cost-effective and time-saving alternative I travel on it along with my bike.”
S Sagari, a first-time traveller from Dondapadu village of Guntur district, said, “We used to rely on buses for farm work in G Konduru areas, leading to delays. Now, we cover six kilometres in just half an hour.”
History of Rayapudi-ibrahimpatnam waterway
In 1960s, Mallela Seshagiri Rao recognised the potential of the Rayapudi-Ibrahimpatnam river route and introduced boats and launches to traverse the distance. His legacy was continued by his second son, Srinadh Chowdary. Notably, Seshagiri Rao’s grandson Harendranad Chowdary also contributed to the success of this venture, running launches between Vijayawada and Amaravati. After six decades, Alaparthi Sivaram Prasad has again started the tradition