Amphibious service likely to commence by end of May

“Another of GTDC’s tall claims.”


The much-hyped introduction of amphibious vessels – vehicles that can be operated on land as well as sea – which had been deferred till date due to delay in permission from various authorities, will likely start by the end of the month. Tourism department expects to get all clearances for starting the amphibious buses by May-end.

Tourism minister Dilip Parulekar on Tuesday told reporters that though there has been a delay, they are sure of starting the service by the end of the tourist season. For Goa, tourist season starts in October-November and concludes by May-end.

Goa is the first state in the country to launch the amphibious bus service. Goa tourism development corporation (GTDC) has three indigenously-built buses with foreign technology.

The soft launch of these amphibious buses was carried out a few months ago. GTDC had to put its plans of starting the service full-fledged on hold due to difficulty in securing the various permissions required, most importantly that of the transport department.

Apparently, transport authorities were in a fix as this is a first-of-its-kind transport service and does not completely come under the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act, an official said.

A few months ago, GTDC chairman Nilesh Cabral had told TOI that they had even approached the Union ministry of road and surface transport to push their case for securing permission.
 Goa tourism hopes to increase its footfalls with this unique service that will showcase for tourists the hinterlands of Goa.
Even as GTDC is gearing up to start the service by May-end, in all probability, it will take off fully only next season. Tourist footfalls dwindle with the arrival of monsoon. The season takes off in the real sense only in October-November.