Less than half of boats meant for pleasure trips found fit

Less than half of boats meant for pleasure trips found fit
Highlights

Trips of tourists to Papikondalu have been put on hold in view of inspections of the launches by officials of three government departments, led by Boat Superintendent Prasanna Kumar, on Wednesday at Pocharam.

Kothagudem: Trips of tourists to Papikondalu have been put on hold in view of inspections of the launches by officials of three government departments, led by Boat Superintendent Prasanna Kumar, on Wednesday at Pocharam.

  • Launch trips to Papikondalu and Perantalapalli put on hold
  • No more boat ride sans life jackets, fire-fighting equipment and medical kits

The officials travelled in the launches to consider all safety aspects. After detecting some loopholes, they made suggestions to the organisers to ensure safety. These urgent steps were taken in view of the recent boat mishap in the Krishna river that claimed 21 lives.

It has since been made mandatory for every traveler by boat or launches to wear life jackets. Besides, the launch drivers should be expert swimmers as well.

Following the boat tragedy, the State government has been insisting on safety measures to be taken by organizers of trips by launches, particularly on the Telangana-AP border areas like Pocharam in Vara Ramachandrapuram mandal of East Godavari district, where operation of launches has been suspended.

During the inspection, the officials found that only 12 of the 30 boats being used for the Papikondala-Perantalapalli trips were equipped with life jackets, firefighting equipment and medical kits. They advised all the other operators to arrange for life jackets as also modern fire-fighting machines, besides medical kits.

The officials stressed that suitable medicines should be readily available. The officials will submit a report to ITDA Project Officer Abhishek Kishore, who will forward it to the East Godavari Collector. Permission to run the launches will be given only if the Collector is totally satisfied with the safety measures adopted followed by the organisers in tune with prescribed guidelines.

According to the officials, the guidelines stipulate that a board should be displayed in the launch clearly indicating its capacity, along with the names of the organiser, the navigator and the driver, besides other details. They suggested that every traveler in the launch should, while entering the vessel, wear a life jacket.

At the start of the journey, a photograph showing the time and date as well as the travelers wearing life jackets should be taken, they suggested. The officials made it clear that the launch trips to Papikondalu and Perantalapalli would be revived only after permissions are given by top officials in the government. Kunavaram SI B Ajay told The Hans India that the launches to the two places would be allowed only after a full-scale inspection of the safety measures.

By P V Satyanarayana

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