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Rs 162 lakh sanctioned for nine boat control rooms in Andhra Pradesh

By Express News Service

VIJAYAWADA:  The State government has sanctioned Rs 162.30 lakh for constructing nine control rooms for boating in nine tourist destinations across the State under GO no. 329. Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy laid the foundation stone for construction of these control rooms at Mummadivaram in East Godavari district, during his visit to the district on Thursday.

The amount has been approved under the budgetary provision of Rs 15 crore, sanctioned during the State budget for ‘new Tourism Projects, Capital Head’. Each control room will consist of 13 officials from various government departments.

These officials include one tahsildar or deputy tahsildar from the Revenue department, who will be responsible for overall monitoring of control rooms and boat operations; one deputy engineer or assistant engineer from the Irrigation department, who will provide updates of route clearance and water levels; two police constables to control tourist traffic and make sure that none of the tourists are carrying explosives or alcohol on the boat; four ticket collectors, appointed by the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC) – teams consisting of two collectors will be working in two shifts and they will look after reservations and also provide information related to that particular tourist destination; one watchman, appointed by the APTDC for maintaining watch and guard the control room at night; three swimmers to rescue tourists in cases of accidents and for regular patrolling; and one patrolling staff.

This apart, five boats, with two boat drivers in each boat, will be deployed for continuous patrolling in five of these nine tourist destinations, which are prone to frequent accidents. Of these boats, one will be at Nagarjuna Sagar and Srisailam each. The remaining three will be at Perantalapalli, Pochavaram and Rajamahendravaram. The officials of these patrolling boats will be responsible for informing embarkation and disembarkation points for boating activities as per a particular day’s water levels.

The swimmers and boat drivers have been directed to undergo a 10-day training, provided by the National Institute of Water Sports (NIWS). The certificates of final approval will be given to them by Kakinada and Machilipatnam Port authorities, only after they procure the certificates from the NIWS.Meanwhile, there is some good news for the tourists wanting to visit the Bhavani Island. 

“Boats, with less than 12-seater capacity, will be operational by the APTDC within 10 to 15 days from now at all locations, once the pilots get the required certificates and permissions,” said M Ravi Kumar, assistant manager of waterfleet section of the APTDC’s corporate office, Vijayawada. 

It would take a minimum of 90 days for such a control room to be constructed. But in maximum 20 days, the  pilots of the boats would be able to complete their training and receive permission. Thus, tourists would now have to wait for only 20 days maximum in place of the earlier 90, to visit the Bhavani Island.

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