Kumarakom House Boat Owners’ Association has cautioned the State government authorities not to take any steps that would negatively affect the tourism industry in the State which has been negatively impacted by the Thekkady boat tragedy.
Speaking to media persons here, Association president Pushkaran Attuchira and secretary Shanoj Kumar said the office of the Chief Inspector of Boats had been insisting on certificates of inclination test and load test following the tragedy, and also renewal of fitness certificates from the Indian Register of ships.
There were no specifications for the house boats in this regard and most of these boats are country boats with laden weight of 50 to 120 tonnes with a length of 80ft to 125 ft and a width of 15 to 30 ft.
Unlike motor boats, they house not more than eight persons, in the normal case.
While all the boats have licensed drivers, licensed laskers were not available in large numbers. They called upon the authorities to give them time to get enough number of persons trained as laskers.
According to them many of the owners have decided to keep their vehicles off service on account of what they termed the ‘harassment’ by authorities. The tourism industry in Kerala, which was reeling under the impact of global recession had received a bolt from the blue in the form of the Thekkady boat tragedy. They asked the authorities to be realistic in their actions as unnecessary haste would adversely affect the industry further.