Purse strings loosen for splash sports - Parasailing, scuba diving in 16 reservoirs

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  • Published 4.06.09

Ranchi, June 4: Adventure seekers get your water gear out. You can now scoot on not one but 16 lakes across the state.

The state tourism department has decided to flag off water sports in the reservoirs of 16 dams from this month. These include — Maithon, Topchanchi, Tilaiya, Getalsud, Patratu, Dimna, Deoghar, Netarhat, Kanke, Hatia, Massanjore, Charwa, Chandil, Burudih, Khandoli and Hazaribagh lake.

Alongside boating, one can engage in parasailing, scuba diving and riding water scooters. Water surfing, too, will be introduced soon. The department will introduce the sports in phases, starting from this month. The total project cost has been pegged at Rs 11.5 crore.

For the benefit of tourists, waiting sheds, cafeterias and drinking water facilities are being developed on the sites.

That’s not all. Plans to start three air-conditioned cruises on the Maithon, Chandil and Massanjore dams are also on the cards. But this will take another year to take shape.

Elaborating on the project, state tourism secretary A.K. Singh told The Telegraph that orders for the water sporting equipment have been placed in Calcutta and Pune. “The equipment are due in another 15 to 20 days. Thereafter, we are will start the activities in the lakes,” Singh said.

He added that the department would employ 100 local youths as tourist guides. Around 425 youths from different districts of the state have already been trained at a four-day camp, which was held at Tilaiya, Dhanbad, Jamshedpur, Hazaribagh and Deoghar.

“Of the 425 trained youths, we are going to select 100 on the basis of their physical fitness, expertise and willingness to learn. Apart from acting as tourist guides, the youths will also instruct visitors on how to handle the water equipment,” Singh said.

However, the department is yet to decide on the entry fee, which is expected to vary depending on the activities on offer.

About the cruises, the secretary said, it would take some time for it to become a reality. “We will accommodate around 150 people on each cruise, which will cost the state about Rs 2.53 crore. There are plans to build a conference hall, dining space and an entertainment area on board,” Singh added.