District Collector N. Padmakumar has banned shikkara boats and other small boats from operating on lakes and other waterbodies in the district for the next 30 days. The order is as per Section 144 (1) and (2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr.PC), 1973.

The ban comes after a couple from Vishakapatnam drowned in the Punnamada lake on Tuesday when the shikkara boat (small country boat fitted with engines) they were in sank. District Police Chief Thomson Jose on Wednesday submitted a report to the district collector explaining the risks involved in tourists travelling in small boats. Mr. Padmakumar said special teams of the district administration and police would implement the ban. Strict action would be taken against small boat operators violating the ban. The ban was imposed for the safety of tourists and staff operating the boats. It was risky for tourists who did not know swimming to travel in such boats in rough weather conditions, he said. Mr. Jose said the police would strictly impose the ban. The police report pointed out that many boats operated without essential life-saving equipment including life jackets. Many boats did not even have the license issued by the Port Department, the report said.

Meanwhile, the body of Krishnasagar Miseal (30), of Golaveedhi in Beemunipattanam in Vishakapatnam, was retrieved by the police after local fishermen alerted them on Wednesday morning.

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