Meet the Boat-Bus! Yes. Or atleast that’s what they’re calling it.
Two separate Boat-Buses made their appearance in the last two months, one in Punjab and one in Lucknow. Both are the exact opposites of each other.
Presenting The Harike, Punjab’s Boat-Bus for tourists in the Harike wetlands.
At first glance, anyone who sees this picture will say: “Wait, what? That looks like a Banana on Wheels!”.
Personally, I’m confused whether it is a boat with wheels or a mini-van shaped like a boat. Functionally, it is both. There is a ramp that leads it into the water from where it functions as a boat. Something like a Hovercraft, one might say.
While Aesthetics seem to have taken a backseat here, it is functional enough. One just hopes that it does not capsize in the water.
Now, presenting Lucknow’s Water-Bus.
It’s a boat. Yes. A covered boat. Lucknow, by virtue of being on the banks of the Gomti river has managed to get a functional water transport system due to start commercial operations by this month.
What confuses me is where there is so much water in Gomti river and why is there so much water pouring down from the bridge? Are they filling the river? I know this is possible in Ahmedabad because the Sabarmati is designed like a giant drain, but does Uttar Pradesh have the wherewithall for such a thing?
It would be nice to someday see the Yamuna, Ganga, and Kaveri be cleaned up. Cities like Delhi, Kanpur, Varanasi, Erode and Thiruchchirapalli (Trichy) too can then set up their own water transport systems.
As I had outlined in a previous post, on the basis of Pune and Ahmedabad, any Indian city that lies on the banks of a major river can get itself a good water transport system. Further, cities on the coast, mainly Mumbai, Chennai, Visakhapatnam (Vizag), Panaji, Mormugao, and Mangalore should get hovercrafts. Water transport is slowly getting more prominence in the country. Mumbai is getting a terminal for water-based Ro-Ro transport. Rolling Highways are one thing, but Floating Highways? Why not. If we can have a Konkan Railway, why not a Konkan Waterway.
It’s high time, we start innovating and looking at newer modes of transport. The Hyperloop concept is still eons away. Till then, let us focus on more terrestrial transport, which doesn’t necessarily have to be on land. As they say, Water is the Basis of Life.
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