KARWAR: To promote tourism on the lines of Kerala, Uttara Kannada district administration has planned to introduce boating at ports and rivers. If everything goes according to plans, tourists can hire boats to take rounds in the sea and rivers in the district. As of now, there is no systematic boating facility for tourists in the district. In case tourists wish to go for boating in the sea or river, they have to take fishing boats by paying huge money. Moreover, these boats lack proper facilities. There are small tourist boats, though not operating regularly, in some important tourist spots like Karwar, Murdeshwar and Gokarna.
To meet the demand of tourists, the district administration is ready to introduce boating at some important tourist places and the matter is being discussed with other departments. It is looking forward for investors to bring in boats which will attract tourists automatically.
Deputy Commissioner Harish Kumar K told Express that they have initiated talks with the Port Department to use their jetties to convert them into boating points. Once the deal is fixed, they will look for investors and provide boating facility to tourists. The administration will give first priority to local investors who can meet safety measures and they will be given licence to operate boats.
The port authorities in the district have their own jetties at eight places in various parts of the district, including Karwar and Belekeri. On getting nod, the jetties will be used by private investors to operate tourist boats on minimum charges. Licence fee and maintenance charges will be given to ports, he pointed.
There are many jetties of the port authorities which are not in regular use. If boating is started, these ports will also get revenue and it will be helpful to the district administration to create infrastructure to promote tourism. Even ports have their own parking lot and it will be easy for tourists to park their vehicles without causing traffic jam on roads.
According to sources, “If the administration invites a tender, there will be a chance for monopoly of single investor and charging more from tourists. Therefore, the administration is planning to give licence to boat operators, where they can give good services at reasonable price.”Currently, two investors have come forward to invest on boats and operate in important tourist destinations. The administration will take a final decision once the rainy season is over. First priority will be given to local investors if they meet safety conditions, added sources.
Beach train soon?
To introduce beach train on Karwar beach, the district administration has invited investors a few days ago. An investor has approached the administration who is ready to invest about Rs 35 lakh for beach train in Karwar. “The investor will bring beach train by December at the time of Karavali Utsav,”
a source said.