Repeated boat accidents prompt officials to initiate formation of water transport authority

Andhra officials to form water transport regulatory authority to curb boat mishaps AP-I&PR
news Boat mishaps Saturday, May 19, 2018 - 15:07

With a number of boat mishaps coming to light recently in Andhra Pradesh, Chief Secretary of State, Dinesh Kumar is considering forming an inland water transport regulatory authority which will regulate all forms of water transportation in all water bodies of the state’s jurisdiction.

The board is to be constituted chiefly with officials of the Andhra Pradesh Department of Ports, Water Resources and PanchayatI Raj Department and the Police, along with authorities of other departments.

The Chief Secretary said that accident prone areas should be monitored by local authorities and said that Police Superintendents and Collectors would be given orders in this regard.

He also asked officials to ensure that boats were taking safety measures including making life jackets available to all. The boats must also display all documents, licenses, registration details and fitness certificates.

A meeting held in this regard at CS chambers in the Interim Government Complex in Velagapudi was attended by Special Chief Secretary Manmohan Singh, Principal Secretaries Anuradha and Ajay Jain, Secretary Sasi Bhushan Kumar and other officials.

Meanwhile in a recent development of a related incident, taking note of the tragic death of 19 people in a boat accident near Ibrahimpatnam Ferry Ghat, the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) has taken up the case suo moto and has ordered for an inquiry. The SHRC has also issued a notice to the Chief Secretary, asking for a report by June 4.

Earlier this week, it was reported that a boat allegedly carrying over 40 passengers, capsized near Manturu of Devipatnam mandal of East Godavari district on its way to Vadapalli, a riverfront village.

Officials had launched massive rescue operations using boats and divers and state disaster management teams and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel were also brought in for the rescue efforts.  

The incident came to light shortly after another mishap in which a boat in which over 100 tourists were travelling on caught on fire in the Godavari River in the same district on May 11. Fortunately, passengers managed a narrow escape as the driver wheeled the boat to the shore and they were able to jump off the boat.

In November last year, another boat accident resulted in the death of 21 tourists near Vijayawada, at the Pavitra Sangamam where the Krishna and Godavari rivers meet.

Read: ‘CM mum as boat owners giving bribes’: Opposition slams Naidu over Godavari tragedy


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