The Cochin Port Trust has told the Kerala High Court that certificate holders of the Mercantile Marine Department with a minimum of five years’ experience in the port waters would be allowed to ply boats in the Kochi waters. In a statement filed in the court, the CPT said it had been ensured that experienced sranks (supervisors) and drivers would man the boats plying in the port waters as the channels were regularly used by large cargo vessels, tankers and dredgers.

A system of issuing the certificate of registry to boats from the State’s port department on an annual basis should be put in place. Life-saving devices and fire-fighting equipment would have to be updated annually.

The statement was filed in response to a writ petition seeking a directive to ensure that boats plying in the backwaters had valid licence and safety equipment to ensure passenger safety.

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