We have been advising everyone to wear lifejackets compulsorily: TTDC official

To beat the scorching heat, tourists have been thronging Udhagamandalam, Kodaikanal and other hill stations in the State. But Safety measures have taken a back seat.

During boat ride, tourists are provided with lifejackets and life buoy. But unable to bear the heat, most of them refuse to wear them in Udhagamandalam and Kodaikanal. The Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation (TTDC) has made wearing of lifejackets mandatory during boat rides after the Thekkady boat tragedy on October 1, 2009. “We have been advising everyone to wear lifejackets compulsorily. They are provided for users of row boats and pedal boats. Every boat is equipped with adequate number of lifejackets. However, due to the persistent heat some of the tourists remove them after wearing for a while. We are helpless,” TTDC Udhagamandalam boat house manager C. Suresh Kumar told TheHindu.

The TTDC boat house manager at Kodaikanal also echoed the same view and said that they were planning to impose a fine on those who violated the safety measures. “Safety first and revenue next” was the mantra being followed by boat house managers at Muttukadu, Mudaliarkuppam, Pycara and Yercaud.

“We do not allow anyone to board the boat without lifejacket. We are also getting complaints about the heat. We ask them either to wear it or to abandon their plans,” said Yercaud boat house manager S. Venkatesh.

“Our aim is to prevent tragedies. We will ask our boat house managers to enforce the rules strictly,” said a TTDC official.

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