Telangana

The killjoy for tourists at Kotilingala

The boats remain tied to the shores at Kotilingala in Jagtial district .

The boats remain tied to the shores at Kotilingala in Jagtial district .   | Photo Credit: ByKMDayashankar

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Boating services stopped within two weeks of launch citing repairs

The Telangana State Tourism Development Corporation’s (TSTDC) plans to encourage tourism at this historic temple shrine with the launch of boating services on the backwaters of Sripada Yellampalli project has proved to be a damp squib.

Minister for Finance and Civil Supplies Eatala Rajender and Chief Whip Koppula Eshwar launched boating services on the river Godavari with much fanfare on January 6. However, within 10 days of inauguration, the boating services remained cancelled from Monday onwards owing to repairs of the boats. All the four boats, including two mechanised boats and two speedboats, are tied at the shores.

Following Sankranti holidays, tourists arrived in large numbers to enjoy boat rides along the picturesque shores of the river Godavari abutting hillocks. But, they were left disappointed when the authorities informed that the boat services were cancelled following repairs. “We had come to Kotilingala temple only to enjoy the boating facilities, but the cancellation of boating facilities has come as a shock,” said Venkat Reddy of Odela mandal in Peddapalli district, who came along with his family members.

The visitors had to contend with only taking selfies with boats in the background and blamed the authorities for spoiling their holiday trip. A local coconut vendor alleged that the tourism authorities deployed old boats despite spending around ₹ 2 crore and deceived the people. He said that a few days ago a boat was stuck up in the river causing commotion among the tourists. However, another speed boat rushed to their rescue and bought the boat back to the shores by tying a rope.

Incidentally, the boat operators were reaping riches with devotees visiting the shrine preferring a boat ride. A boat operator said that there was good response to the boating service and the daily collections that began from ₹ 10,000 initially even touched ₹ 50,000 recently. The boats developed problems due to the nets laid by the fishermen in the river, he added.

Expressing concern over the sudden stoppage of boat operations, District Tourism Officer Venkateshwar said he would take the matter to the notice of higher officials and ensure that the boats were repaired at the earliest and operated regularly for the benefit of tourists.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 6:21:31 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/the-killjoy-for-tourists-at-kotilingala/article22451607.ece

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