Srinagar, Apr 10 : With highest numbers of tourists visiting Kashmir, the builders of shikaras in Kashmir say that demand is on rise as unemployed youth are earning their livelihood by signing up as a boatman in Dal Lake.
A third generation shikara maker, Ghulam Nabi of Baba Mohalla Dal Lake told that since last 35 years, he has been making Shikara but demand has picked up since last year.
“As last year there was a good tourism season, the demand for Shikara has increased as more and more unemployed youth are starting Shikara so as to at least earn some money for themselves,” he said.
According to him, they too have to face many challenges as timber is not easily available and rates are high.
“It usually takes a person around 15-20 days to make one Shikara and mostly deodar strongest timber is used in making it,” he said.
A Shikara costs around 2.5-3 lakhs and around 35 ft of timber is required to make a boat.
His Shikaras are in use in Mansar and Tawi in Jammu, Hyderabad, Bengal, Rajasthan and other places as well.
But he complained that the government has never supported them while requesting the authorities to give them timber for continuing their craft—(KNO)