Andhra Pradesh government will soon inaugurate as many as eight control rooms to ensure prevention of boat accidents, tighten procedures to issue licences for boats and impart training to operators among other measures.
Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy on Wednesday chaired a review meeting to take necessary precautions to prevent boat accidents and decided to set up eight control rooms for prevention of boat accidents and security, according to an official release.
The control rooms will be under the Mandal Revenue Office and will include staff from the Water Resources, Police and Tourism Department. The Chief Minister instructed officials that at least 13 personnel staff and three police constables should be in each control room.
The Chief Minister is scheduled to inaugurate the construction of eight control rooms on November 21 and they will be available within 90 days.
The Chief Minister said that there should be continuous information with the control room on the movement of boats, their routes, and information of floods. Alcohol consumption should be banned. He also instructed the officials to attach GPS connections, ban the consumption of alcohol by staff and conduct breath analyser tests on staff.
"MRO will be in charge of the control room. If the control room is seen without any hazard, they will be given at least two months salary as incentives based on the grading," the chief minister said adding that walky-talkies and GPS will be mandatory on boats.
"Permission should be given to boats only after thorough checking and make sure that the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is installed on the boats. Periodic information should be available on the river flow," he said.
The Chief Minister said that the control room staff should take responsibility for the trips in the river and the recruited staff in control rooms should be trained for three months.
The officers told Chief Minister that they are currently checking licenses and boats. The Chief Minister instructed officials that the boat trainers should also be trained and boats should be allowed only after inspection.
On September 15, the Royal Vasishta boat capsized in river Godavari. Of the 77 persons on board, only 26 persons survived. The boat was brought out of the river and pulled to the shore on October 22.
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