Cancel their licences if boat operators flout rules: Kishan

Rajahmundry: Union minister of state for home affairs G Kishan Reddy held a review meet with the National Disaster Management Authority in Rajahmundry on Sunday in the wake of the boat accident in the Godavari.
Speaking on the occasion, Kishan Reddy said a new policy must be formulated to prevent boat accidents and assured them of help from the Centre. He said boat drivers must be trained and every tourist should wear lifejackets during voyage. He said that licences should be cancelled if boat operators are found to violate rules.
He lauded the NDRF, SDRF, Indian Navy, police, coast guards and other departments in the district for coordinating and cooperating with one another in the rescue operation.
He revealed that the Centre is taking steps to establish an air base in Visakhapatnam that can be used for emergency landing of helicopters during disasters. While stressing that precautions should be taken to prevent boat accidents, he said the defence and home ministeries are in talks about using advanced technology in rescue operations.
Later, the minister enquired into the boat accident and the present condition of the boat.
Explaining the situation, East Godavari district collector D Muralidhar Reddy told the minister that the boat was not overloaded and the license had been renewed. He said the accident might have taken place due to the strong currents in the water. He suggested that a department should be set up that would work to prevent accidents in water. He added that NDRF and SDRF teams are striving round the clock to retrieve the remaining bodies and that suggestions of the experts are being taken to retrieve the drowned boat.

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