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Boat owners in Bhopal struggle to meet daily expenses amid lockdown

Boat owners involved in tourism activities near Upper Lake in Bhopal are grappling to meet their day-to-day expenses as the fourth phase of the lockdown continues.

ANI | Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh) | Updated: 26-05-2020 16:37 IST | Created: 26-05-2020 16:37 IST
Boat owners in Bhopal struggle to meet daily expenses amid lockdown
Upper Lake in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. Photo/ ANI. Image Credit: ANI

Boat owners involved in tourism activities near Upper Lake in Bhopal are grappling to meet their day-to-day expenses as the fourth phase of the lockdown continues. Around 250 families who are dependent on water sport activities are suffering due to the lockdown have demanded relief from the government.

Bhopal Lake View Boat Club has more than 110 boats including a cruise of Madhya Pradesh Tourism, out of which 40 to 45 boats belong to the boatmen community. "We are waiting for this lockdown to end as we are facing several problems. Earlier, eight people used to sit in a boat, now given the situation, we are willing to take just two people, but we want to start operating at the earliest," said Deepak Keer, a boat owner.

"Business used to boom during this period, but this year we are struggling to meet our expenses. People don't come in winters, and we can't operate in rainy seasons; summers are the only time we used to work and collect ration for a year. The government should provide some relief to us," he added. "Since the lockdown started, our financial conditions have become worse, we don't have ration. I'm still fine; people who work at the boat are facing major problems. We hope that the government assists us financially," said Ajay Keer, another boat owner.

People who used to sell snacks near the lake have switched to other occupations to earn a living. They have said that business won't start for another year or two as even if people come here, they won't eat anything, and so they are forced to change their occupations. "I used to set up an ice cream rickshaw over here, but since the lockdown started, our business stopped, and so I took a job here at water sports and I earn around Rs. 5,000 a month. My friends who used to set ice cream rickshaws here have started doing other jobs for a living," said Sanjay Paras, a security guard. (ANI)


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