: The waters at the Kayal Kurissadi Boat Jetty, the busiest tourist spot in the district, are not as placid and safe as they appear. For a prime tourist spot, from where nearly 1,000 houseboats start operations on a peak season day, there are almost no facilities available for berthing or handling the boats.
Local boat operators told The Hindu that only three or four jetties were functional and boats were berthed there. Boats that come later are tied to the berthed boats and tourists have to walk across the boats, at times more than one, to board the houseboat.
“We complained about the dilapidated condition of the boat jetty to the District Tourism Promotion Council even last week, but nothing has happened here. There is only one police aid-post here, with a couple of men posted. Similarly, our long-standing demand for a Fire and Rescue Station unit here has not been met,” said Prasanna Kumar of the All Kerala Houseboat Owners and Operators Samiti. The boat jetty is only 50 metres away from the main road, but the access to the jetty is too narrow for timely rescue operations during a crisis like this. “The street lights are not functioning along this stretch. The sidewalls of the jetty are all broken up. The stumps of the disused jetties, which get submerged during high tide, make it even more dangerous during rescue operations,” said Shamji S., another boat operator.