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State to crack down on unlicensed boats

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V.S. Achuthanandan says water transport scenario to be reviewed.
V.S. Achuthanandan says water transport scenario to be reviewed.

Special Correspondent

Water transport scenario in the State to be reviewed

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Government plans to take action against unlicensed ferries, boats and cruises operating in the State in view of the Thattekkad boat tragedy.

Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan told the media after a Cabinet meeting on Thursday that the Government would take a critical look at water transport safety and the prevailing rules and regulations in this regard. The departments concerned had been asked to take stringent action in this regard. The Government proposed to undertake a thorough review of the water transport scenario in the State and carry out the recommendations of the Justice K. Narayana Kurup Commission which probed the Kumarakom boat tragedy that claimed 30 lives in 2002. Though the recommendations of the Commission regarding compensation to the victims had been implemented, it was doubtful whether the other recommendations had been carried out.

He said the Cabinet had ratified the proposal for a judicial inquiry into the boat tragedy. The Government would explore the possibilities of getting a sitting judge.

The next of the kin of each of the victims would be given Rs.2 lakh in addition to Rs.10,000 and Rs.5,000 sanctioned respectively by the Education and Revenue Departments. The Government would bear the expenses for treatment of the injured. (Fifteen children and three teachers had died when a tourist boat capsized in the Bhoothathankettu reservoir in Ernakulam district.)

The Chief Minister announced that the next of kin of seven persons who had died in separate accidents at Paramada, Veli, Paravur and other localities would be granted Rs.30,000 each.

A rehabilitation scheme would be carried out for the benefit of the 71 families at Anchuthengu in Thiruvananthapuram district whose houses had been destroyed in a recent fire. Similar assistance would be given to families that lost their homes at Veliyamkode near Ponnani.

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