Boat service at Teppakulam a huge draw


People wait in long queue for hours to take a ride on the boat across the temple tank

There was a good patronage for boat service at Mariamman Temple Teppakulam here on Sunday, at the end of the long Pongal holidays.

People stood in a long queue for hours to take a ride on the boat across the temple tank. The boating service, which was introduced at the end of last year, had turned the temple tank into a favourite leisure spot in the city, said an official from the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department (HR and CE). โ€œThe crowd is usually high on weekends. Usually, around 60 boat trips are done on weekends,โ€ he added.

All those aged above five years are allowed to travel in the boat and life jackets are given to the passengers as a safety measure. Presently one steamer boat is being operated. Seven passengers can travel in each boat and the tariff is โ‚น20 per person. The boating service is allowed from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

K. Jothi, a resident of Jaihindpuram, said boating service has made Teppakulam an ideal spot for recreation. โ€œWith the closure of schools, children are frustrated to stay at home. The boating service at Teppakulam is a good distraction for them,โ€ she said.

However, there must be more boats as people had to wait for hours to board the boat, said G. Kannan who said he had to stand in the queue for nearly two-and-a-half hours for the boat ride.

The HR and CE official said the department has placed a proposal requesting an additional boat.

The water level at Teppakulam which was earlier at around 15 feet has come down to 10 feet. โ€œThe authorities must take steps to ensure that water is available throughout the year,โ€ said Mr. Kannan.

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