Reports suggest that several illegal boats continue to ferry tourists, despite authorities promising strict action.

Vijayawada boat accident One month after tragedy normalcy returns to tourist spotFile photo: PTI
news Accident Tuesday, December 12, 2017 - 09:05

It has been exactly one month since the tragedy near Vijayawada in Andhra, when a boat accident killed 21 tourists, at the Pavitra Sangamam, the spot where Krishna and Godavari rivers meet.

However, not much seems to have changed, as tourism in the Amaravati region, which witnessed a slight dip, only to return to normalcy again.

Reports suggest that several illegal boats continue to surf the water, despite authorities promising strict action.

The Hindu reported that over 200 private boats are being operated at tourist spots, without obtaining licences, which violated the Indian Registration of Shipping and the Inland Vessels Act, 1917.

However, officials from the Andhra P radesTourism Development Corporation (APTDC) said that only 54 boats had been registered with them, and were legally allowed to ferry tourists. 

“We are operating about 54 boats in the State with the licences obtained from the Irrigation authorities, and necessary safety gadgets were provided on all tourism boats. The APTDC will give top priority for safety,” said APTDC in-charge General Manager, Sudarsana Rao, told The Hindu.

Meanwhile, tourism in the Amaravati region has also returned to normalcy, with tourists returning to Bhavani Islands and Punnami Ghat to enjoy water sports.

“Adventure sports are added attraction for Amaravati and we came all the way from Nellore to enjoy Parasailing. Boat mishap at Pavitra sangamam is unfortunate and avoiding water sports after mishap is foolish. The government should monitor safety in boats like what is happening here,” Nallapu Sridhar, a tourist from Nellore, told the Times of India.

Background

In the second week of November, the overloaded boat of a private operator carrying 45 tourists, including three crew members, capsized near Ibrahimpatnam Ferry Ghat near Vijayawada.

The tourists, majority of them hailing from Ongole town, were coming from Bhavani Island to Pavitra Sangamam, to witness 'Maha haarathi' ritual on the last Sunday of the auspicious month of 'Karthika'.

The tourists had boarded a boat of the Tourism Department, but when told that the time for ferrying passengers was already over, they boarded the private boat.

The police said that the driver was inexperienced and unfamiliar with the area. He suddenly lost control of the overloaded boat, which capsized.

Following the accident, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakh each for the families of the dead.

 

Also Read: Vijayawada boat tragedy: Pawan Kalyan meets victims, holds Andhra govt responsible

 

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