Amaravati: The long-awaited bus-cum-boat vehicle, proposed to be launched by Andhra Pradesh Tourism, will be a reality in a week. Imagine the fun of a ride in an amphibious bus, a vehicle that becomes a means of transport on land as well as on (or under) water.
The officials’ plan to introduce this unique mode of transport during the Godavari Pushkarams did not materialise. The plan got further delayed for several reasons, one of them being that it took some time for the Tourism wing to convince their counterparts in the Transport Department for registration of these ‘never-before-used’ vehicles.
The bus-cum-boat will float in the Krishna river initially for a joy ride. “But in the days to come, it’ll take people from the Punnami ghat to Pavithra Sanghamam via several popular stopovers en route. Currently, the amphibian is at Polavaram for trial run,” said Himanshu Shukla, Director, Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC).
The plan is to provide tourists a new view to the exotic locales in and around Vijayawada in the vehicle which moves smoothly from wide open spaces to an aquatic wonder land.
The tour will start in a clockwise direction from the Berm Park, an APTDC property in Bhavanipuram. The tourists will take a joy ride in the Krishna and transit on to land in the same bus to Lotus hotel before taking in the grand and historic sights of Undavalli Caves, the Panakala Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy temple, A.P. Secretariat, Uddandarayapalem and Sri Shiva Kshetra.
The boat will stop at the APTDC dock-II which will have amenities like a food court, a souvenir shop and a repair and maintenance shed. From here, the boat ride will continue in the Krishna on way to the Pavithra Sanghamam which will have similar amenities like a museum, a food court, a ticket counter, waiting lounge and souvenir shops. It will then reach Sri Durga Malleswara Swamivarla Devasthanam before returning to the starting point at Bhavanipuram.
An alternative route will begin from Pavithra Sangamam in an anti-clockwise direction, moving through the APTDC dock-II, followed by Shiva Kshetram, Uddandarayapalem, A.P. Secretariat, Sri Panankala Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple and Undavalli Caves with a stop at the Lotus hotel and APTDC dock before proceeding to the Durga temple.
To begin with, the Tourism wing may launch six such vehicles. “The CRDA has asked for two bus-cum-boat to cater to the transport needs of the Secretariat staff. Each vehicle has a seating capacity for 16 people,” said Mr. Himanshu.
Eight jetties have been constructed on the Krishna and Godavari banks for the purpose and ramps are also being set up.