Coast Guard to work closely with Tourism Department to ensure safety of boat riders; indentifies five spots that need special attention

A team from the Ministry of Earth Sciences is likely to visit Puducherry, to study the proposed oceanarium project at Manapad, said P. Rajavelu, Tourism Minister of the Union Territory.

He said the 15 acres of land required for the project, had been earmarked, and that the Tourism Department had received communication that a high-level team would soon visit to Puducherry to take further steps. He was speaking to reporters after holding a discussion with officials of various departments, including the police and Coast Guard on improving safety measures to the boat riders who undertake rides from Chunnambar to Paradise beach, here on Wednesday,

As far as safety of tourists who undertake boat ride on the backwaters of Chunnambar, Mr. Rajavelu said he had held discussions with various stakeholders, including the Coast Guard.

It had been decided to impart training to the Tourism Department personnel on taking steps during emergencies.

W.V.R. Murthy, Secretary, Tourism, said though Chunnambar Boat House was in possession of sufficient number of lifejackets (about 700), the issue was that some boat riders did not strap them on properly. It had already been compulsory that boat riders should wear lifejackets.

The field staff had been told that they would be held accountable if riders undertake journey without lifejackets, he said.

Mr. Murthy further said the Department had undertaken various infrastructural works, at a cost of Rs.5 crore, at Chunnambar Boat House, in an effort to make it an iconic tourist spot. Construction of jetty, establishment of wooden restaurant, creation of additional rooms and beautification of boat house area were also taken up and would be completed within 6 months. Commandant N. Somasundaram, Commanding Officer, Coast Guard said the CG would provide all possible help to the Tourism Department to ensure safety of those tourists who visit beachfronts in Puducherry.

It had identified five spots where special attention should be given to prevent incidents of drowning.

Vaiyapuri Manikandan, Chairman, Puducherry Tourism Development Corporation, K.K. Singh, Director, Tourism, Subramaniam, Deputy Director and others took part in the discussion.

Later, Mr. Rajavelu inspected the ongoing works at Chunnambar Boat House.