We’ll take the help of local fishermen, he says

Safety measures must be taken up immediately at all beaches in Vizag, Minister for Ports and Infrastructure Ganta Srinivasa Rao said after a visit to Rushikonda beach on the city outskirts on Friday, where six engineering students of GITAM University drowned on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the body of Sainithin washed ashore in the early hours of Friday. Bodies of five other students, including three girls, were either retrieved or washed ashore on Thursday.

The Minister visited the beach along with Collector V. Seshadri, Commissioner of Police J. Purnachandra Rao, Municipal Commissioner M.V. Satyanarayana and officials of GVMC, Coast Guard and Fisheries Department.

Danger zones

During interaction with the Coast Guard, Marine Police and City police officials the Minister was explained about the danger zones of the beaches. The tide was high along a two to three km stretch at Rushikonda. Wednesday’s incident has shaken the entire State and it was necessary to put in place effective safety measures so that such tragedies were not repeated, he said.

Like in Goa, caution boards and green, orange and red flags indicating the danger levels of the beach would be arranged at R.K. Beach, Rushikonda and Yarada for the benefit of visitors. Life guards would be stationed to explain to the people the areas of the beach to be avoided and how far they could venture into the water. Expert swimmers would be engaged in the beaches to protect the visitors. “Local fishermen understand the waves according to the current, tide, and depth of the sea. We will take their help to make the beaches safe”, Mr. Srinivasa Rao said.

He asked Mr. Satyanarayana to arrange awareness meetings at the colleges on the beaches so that the students would not venture into the dangerous areas. Guides should be engaged and video presentations arranged to explain to the tourist about the sea and the dangers it could pose. Another measure he suggested was to have a joint vigil of Marine Police, Coast Guard and the local people. The local fishermen suggested to the Minister to arrange boating in the local beaches which would deter the tourists from going to the dangerous areas of the beaches while the fishermen would get some income.

Mr. Seshadri said six expert swimmers would be engaged at Rushikonda beach. Mr. Purnachandra Rao and Mr. Satyanarayana informed that Community Guards would be engaged at the beaches.

MLA P. Ramesh Babu, GVMC Chief Engineer Jayarami Reddy, Chief City Planner Venkata Ratnam, Coast Guard officer J.S. Randhawa, Assistant Director of Fisheries Swarna Kumari and other officials were present.

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