Boat services will soon resume in Andhra Pradesh following a full-fledged fitness check. According to a statement by tourism minister Muttamsetti Srinivas Rao, all the boats under the Tourism Department will start operations soon based on the flood levels in the rivers. Already, boating operations have started in Visakhapatnam and East Godavari and once the flood levels recede, they will also resume in Bhavani Island, Nagarjuna Sagar and Srisailam.
Of the 195 boats, 56 small 12-seaters were given licence while 112 boats with higher capacity are yet to receive a licence.
Rao said new boats will be purchased by either by the department or through public-private partnership (PPP), which will operate in potential routes to boost the revenues.
Besides new boats, the government has also set up nine command and control rooms to avoid boat accidents.
The minister reviewed the possibility of increasing revenue generation through tourism, especially in the coming four months.
Likewise, the Tourism Minister has also stressed on the possibility of introducing sea-plane tourism in the southern state between Visakhapatnam-Vijayawada-Hussain Sagar (Hyderabad), on the lines of Gujarat where Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently inaugurated one such facility.
Incidentally, all the 38 restaurants run by the tourism department supplied food to Covid centres during the lockdown, earning a revenue of Rs 22.5 crore.
Rao said that a new stadium and a shopping complex have been built in Prakasam district at an expenditure of Rs 2.2 crore and Rs 1 crore, respectively, which are slated to be inaugurated on Thursday.
Likewise, construction of six more stadia will be done in East Godavari, Guntur and Prakasam.
According to Rao, Andhra Pradesh will receive Rs 3 crore funds through the Central government's Khelo India initiative for the YSR Sports School in Kadapa.
The minister said the state government has also accorded permission to run individual sports institutes such as archery, badminton and tennis under Unlock 5.0 from Thursday.
To honour a state sports personality, Rao said the statue of famous wrestler Kodi Rammurthy Naidu will be put up on the beach road in Visakhapatnam.
(With inputs from IANS)