Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board resumed water sports activities in the state, which were stopped in view of the corona pandemic, from Sunday. Besides boating, river rafting, kayaking and canoeing have also been permitted.
Around 600 persons enjoyed boating in the Upper Lake on the first day of the unlocking of the water sports. A spokesperson for the Tourism Board, Vikas Khare said that they took precautions, including subjecting all visitors to thermal scanning. “This was the first Sunday after a long gap when there was no lockdown and so, naturally, people came out in large numbers – so much so that there was queue for entry into the Boat Club. Of course, we ensured that even those waiting in the queue maintained social distancing,” he said.
Sheo Shekhar Shukla, principal secretary, tourism and managing director of the MP Tourism Board said that relevant guidelines have been issued to the managers of the boat clubs in the state. It has been decided to run all boats on 50 per cent occupancy. Speed Boats will now carry three persons instead of six, pedal boats, two instead of four, raft boats four instead of eight and cruise boats, 30 instead of 60.
MP Tourism runs boat clubs at several places in the state including Bhopal, Halali, Udaygiri, Tawa, Bargi, Bhedaghat, Hanuwantia, Tighra (Gwalior), Gandhisagar dam, Shivpuri and Orchha.
All boat operators will be required to give an undertaking that they have no corona-like symptoms. The names, contact numbers, AADHAR numbers and body temperature of each tourist would be entered in a register before they are allowed to board the boats. All equipment including life jackets and boats would be sanitised after each use.
Paperless tickets would be issued and tourists would have to wear masks. The operators of boats would be required to wear masks and hand gloves.