In an attempt to popularise the Babughat riverfront and connect with residents of the city, the Kolkata Police will soon introduce river sports “free of cost” on the Ganga river along that stretch on weekends. “From 29th of July, we will be introducing river water sports at Babughat-Kadamtala stretch. People will be able to enjoy the facility on weekends free of cost… Cost of maintaining machines would be borne by Kolkata Police,” DC (Port) Syed Waqar Raza told The Indian Express.
Police sources said the Ganga riverfront, which stretches from Princep Ghat to Babughat (Kadamtala Ghat), is an excellent jet-skiing location. The area will also include boat rides and other activities, they added. “Water sports in Kolkata will be a popular tourist attraction, and this must be promoted on a larger scale. There is already a natural attraction to witness this beautiful stretch of the Ganga… introducing water sports is like icing on the cake,” said an officer.
Standard safety precautions such as life jackets and life guards on site will be observed, said officials. The Kolkata Police has also procured registration numbers for all boats plying as part of the attraction, and trained officials including disaster management officials will be stationed there. “The city is usually known for its culture and slow pace of life. Water sports under 2nd Hooghly Bridge will definitely add some excitement… Hopefully it is maintained and safety procedures are followed,” said Pritha Bhattacharya, a former student of Jadavpur University.
Sources in the police said people seeking to visit the facility will first have to register their name and details via Whatsapp (8697970095). “Once they get a confirmation from police through a message, they can come and enjoy the facility. It will completely be free of cost,” said Raza.