Vijayawada: The Andhra Pradesh Government spent more than Rs.130 crore for development of ghats along Krishna river in Krishna district during the Krishna Pushkaralu. Consequently, Pavitra Sangamam and Punnami became big tourist centres in the district attracting thousands of visitors during the past one year. But, the Government failed to appoint rescue teams at the two venues.

Boat accident and death of 22 tourists near Pavitra Sangamam on Sunday underlined the need to arrange rescue teams at the tourist centres. By the time the NDRF teams arrived, 21 people lost their lives and bodies were retrieved from the river in two days.

During the holidays, thousands of visitors visit these two places and spend time with family members and friends. The TDP Government is giving wide publicity about the Pavitra Sangamam and Harati performed to river on several occasions. Besides, it is also highlighting the Pavitra Sangamam as the place of confluence of Krishna and Godavari rivers. But, it failed to take safety measures to combat accidents and save lives of people.

Dozens of boats and steamers are ferrying in Krishna river with tourists. Besides the APTDC, some private operators are operating boats to attract the visitors and making money. Had the Government arranged one or two units of rescue teams near Pavitra Sangamam, the deaths could have avoided.

The fishermen present near Pavitra Sangamam don’t have equipment to break the boat and rescue the trapped victims. Some victims died due to suffocation after drowning in the river. Neither the Tourism department, nor Water Resources department had arranged speed boats to take up rescue operations in the last one year in spite of increasing tourists to these areas. Sunday’s mishap is a warning bell to the district administration to respond and take measures to save the lives of people in case of accidents.