The Punjab Government on 12 December 2016 launched country’s first amphibious bus project at the Harike wetland near Amritsar. The project was launched nearly two years after it was announced.
The water bus, Punjab Harike Water Cruise, will enter the Harike Pattan wetland after transversing on-road and off-road terrains. The project has cost the state government over Rs 11 crore.
This amphibious bus project was launched by Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal. After launching the project, Badal took the inaugural ride of the bus with officials and media on Satluj-Beas confluence. He informed that this amphibious bus can travel on land as well as water.
Details of the Amphibious Bus
• These amphibious busses will be run by the Punjab Tourism department.
• IT has a seating capacity of 34 people and is equipped with life jackets for everyone.
• At present, the route of the bus includes a 13-kilometer ride from Amritsar to the Harike wetlands, which the bus is expected to traverse over 45 minutes. It will then traverse 4km on water.
Comment: It seems that these amphibious buses, dual mode of transport i.e. water and land, will help in boosting tourism sector of the state.
• Also known as Hari-ke-Pattan, Harike wetland is the largest wetland in north India
• It is a house of Harike Lake.
• The lake and wetlands were formed in 1953 by constructing head works across the Sutlej River. These head works are located on the downstream of the confluence of Beas and Sutlej rivers.
• It is located along the border of Tarn Taran Sahib and Firozpur districts
• Due to its rich biodiversity and vast concentration of migratory fauna of waterfowls including a number of globally threatened species, it was as a wetland by the Ramsar Convention in 1990.
• It is one of the Ramsar sites in India for conservation, development and preservation of the ecosystem.
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