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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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Water sports hit infrastructure iceberg

- Royale Ganges threatens to shift from Nitish’s power base to Modi land

The ambitious water sports scheme of Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation has hurtled into a dry patch because of poor facilities.

Lack of infrastructure has compelled Royale Ganges Pvt. Ltd to consider suspension of its speedboat and the jet ski services at Gandhi Ghat. The private firm has threatened to withdraw its operations if it does not get the requisite assistance from Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation (BSTDC).

Tejkar Jha, the director of Royale Ganges Pvt. Ltd, claimed that the company was planning to withdraw its services from Patna and operate the water sports vessels in Ahmedabad under the Sabarmati riverfront development project.

“We have been running the water sports facilities at Gandhi Ghat for the past 11 months with minimum assistance from BSTDC. We have sent several letters to the corporation but in vain,” he said.

He said the company had decided to shift base to the western state if BSTDC did not extend support to the firm. “If we do not get the required assistance from BSTDC by the end of the upcoming winter season, we will move out,” he said.

Jha pointed out that BSTDC had failed to offer the services underlined in the agreement. He cited four key issues, which the BSTDC failed to address. (See graphics)

“The water sports facilities provided by us were supposed to be advertised by BSTDC. Though the corporation frequently advertises its floating restaurant and Ganga aarti (both at Gandhi Ghat), the water sports facilities are hardly promoted,” he said, adding that the company pays Rs 25,000 per year to the corporation to run the facility.

He added: “The Gujarat government is promoting the Sabarmati riverfront development project at the national- and international levels. Moreover, most of the basic facilities, including public utilities like lavatories and lighting arrangements, are available there.”

BSTDC officials said Royale Ganges Pvt. Ltd should communicate the matter afresh. “The corporation had asked the operator to give their own advertisements to us, after which we would have issued them. The firm should communicate its problems to the new managing director of the corporation and steps would definitely be taken to sort them out,” said Shailendra Kumar, the general manager of BSTDC.

Complaints galore

No provision of ticket counter

Lack of security arrangements, which resulted in theft and damage of several equipment

No public utility service, including toilets and changing rooms

Hardly any advertisement of the water sports facilities