Chandigarh, Dec 14 (IANS) Launched with much fanfare just two days back, the Rs 11 crore ambitious amphibious bus project of the Punjab government at the Harike wetland near Amritsar has been halted due to low water levels, a senior officer said on Wednesday.
The ‘Harike Cruise’, had been launched by Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal at Harike wetland on Monday.
“The activity will have to halt for 15-20 days as the water level in the reservoir is very low for running the operation of bus,” Punjab Tourism Director Navjot Pal Singh Randhawa said here.
“At present, the water level in the reservoir has receded and is only 3.5 feet deep. The reason for the low water level is that the main gates of Rajasthan Feeder Canal and Ferozpur Feeder Canal have been raised for repairs, whereby the water from the reservoir is flowing down stream.
“The minimum water level required for the operations of the Amphibious Bus is 6 feet. As per the officials of Irrigation Department, the repairs of these gates would be completed in the next 15-20 days,” he said.
Nearly two years after it was announced, the Punjab government had launched the amphibious bus, which travels on land and in water.
The bus is being run by the Punjab Tourism department and tourists coming to the wetland, about 200 km from here, will be able to enjoy its 4-km ride in water and on land.
The bus project was criticised by opposition leaders.