The much-hyped floating restaurants on the Sabarmati, along the eastern and western riverfronts, is all set to become a reality. On Tuesday, the work order for the river cruise/floating restaurants was finally issued by the Sabarmati Riverfront Development Corporation Limited (SRDCL) on behalf of AMC. Request For Proposal (RFP) for the provision, operation, maintenance and management of the floating restaurant and river cruise is a step towards making the recreational destination a reality.
Earlier, the idea was to set up a floating restaurant on the western riverfront with a capacity to serve 50 to 100 persons. The BJP in AMC then floated the idea of two floating restaurants so that people of the eastern side of the city have an equal opportunity to leisure.
The Sabarmati Riverfront Development Corporation Limited (SRDCL) had earlier qualified companies, including two from the city, to execute the project. The proposals for the same were invited in October 2021 with aim to operationalise river cruise and floating restaurants by March this year.
According to AMC insiders: “Both city-based companies are said to have close connections with the ruling wing of the AMC. This might be the real reason behind the delay and also likely to have propelled that the idea of two restaurants.”
However, as it turned out, among the various bids received, the work order for both restaurants was finally issued to city-based M/S Akshar Travels Pvt Ltd. The entire development is being done to harness the potential of the riverfront as a promenade for recreation and leisure.
It may be recalled that the bid to develop a floating restaurant goes back to 2015. Despite headway made with a particular private player, AMC officials were not sure about the company being able to maintain sufficient water-level in the river to keep the restaurant operational throughout the year. The project was then shelved. In 2019, SRDCL again proposed the restaurant and river cruise project. Many companies made presentations before the officials but the plan was again stalled due to the pandemic.