Puducherry

Boats are back in action at Chunnambar

Joy ride: With the resumption of boating services at the PTDC’s Chunnambar boathouse, the weekend saw a steady stream of visitors and the rush for tickets increased at counters by Saturday evening.

Joy ride: With the resumption of boating services at the PTDC’s Chunnambar boathouse, the weekend saw a steady stream of visitors and the rush for tickets increased at counters by Saturday evening.   | Photo Credit: T_Singaravelou

Awarding of contract to run boathouse remains a bone of contention

With the strike by the Puducherry Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) employees withdrawn last week, the Chunnambar boathouse managed by the corporation has been teeming with tourists.

The employees had been on strike since April 25 in protest against the government’s decision to grant “in-principle” approval to a private player to operate a boathouse.

R. Gajabathi, president of PTDC Water Sports Employees Association, said the employees withdrew the strike on May 6 after Tourism Minister Malladi Krishna Rao assured them that the final approval had not been granted to the private player and that the decision would be taken in consultation with the employees.

No compromise

The government should withdraw the “in-principle” approval granted to the private player and announce a policy decision that all boating activities in the tourism sector would continue to be the under the control of the government-owned PTDC. JAC would resume the agitation if the private player operated boat services, he added.

With the strike temporarily withdrawn, a steady flow of visitors to the Chunnambar started from 9 a.m. and increased by evening.

“Over 2,500 people thronged Chunnambar for a boat ride as against 1,000 people a day on weekdays. The revenue from sale of tickets has been high during the week. PTDC hopes to earn a good revenue this year,” an official said.

However, tourism staff working at the boathouse said that the revenue could be higher if there were more boats and staffers during the peak season.

At present, the boathouse has two 40-seater boats and seven 20-seater boats, besides speed boats and two cruise boats.

The cruise boat can carry 100 people across the backwaters to the Paradise Beach. Each trip lasts 20 minutes.

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Printable version | May 29, 2020 6:20:22 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/boats-are-back-in-action-at-chunnambar/article23874989.ece

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