After remaining neglected for decades, the ‘mini Goa’ of J&K — Basohli, a historic area in Kathua district — is finally set to get a major boost, with the state administration planning to develop leisure water sports at the tourist spot.
For the purpose, the newly created Bani-Basohli Development Authority (BBDA) has sought the expression of interest (EOI) for the operation of water sports, including pedal boating, rowing, kayaking, canoeing and motorboating, separately for the main Ranjit Sagar dam reservoir and the Plahi creek.
“We have invited the EOI for the operation of leisure water sports facility at the main Ranjit Sagar dam and the Plahi creek from credible national firms to optimise the adventure tourism potential of this untouched circuit, which has the 88-sq-km freshwater Ranjit Sagar lake situated at the juncture of three states — Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, and Himachal Pradesh,” Nagendra Singh Jamwal, in charge, chief executive officer (CEO), BBDA, told to an media agency.
Read also: Basohli is also known as “Vishwasthali”
The CEO said the BBDA had kept the provision of accidental issuance cover in case of any mishap. “Since adventure has a risk factor, the customer must be covered under the insurance of Rs 5 lakh per person in case of accidental death, loss of limbs and permanent or partial disability,” said Jamwal.
The selected firm will operate for five years on the payment of royalty fee and the renewal of contract for another five years is subject to good performance and mutual agreement.
Under the plan, two motorboats, with a seating capacity of 10 persons (one each for the main dam and the Plahi creek), two six-seater boats, two windsurfing, six kayaks, six canoe, two speed boats (four-seater), a parasail boat, two waterskiing and two pontoon boats will be operated to attract water sports lovers from the state and other parts of the country. All boats will be of international specifications and standards. “We are planning to hold a mega water sports event in the next couple of months to attract tourists from neighbouring states. We are hopeful of getting impressive response,” said OP Bhagat, director, tourism, Jammu.