Andhra Pradesh

Helium balloons to alert boats on danger spots in Godavari

West Godavari SP K. Narayan Naik travelling in a boat in Godavari river to identify danger spots, on Sunday.

West Godavari SP K. Narayan Naik travelling in a boat in Godavari river to identify danger spots, on Sunday.   | Photo Credit: Arrangement

In order to prevent boat accidents, the police proposes to use helium balloons to demarcate the whirlpools and danger spots for sarungs (boat drivers) who venture into the Godavari.

The tribal people living in the villages on the shore have been asked to keep a watch on the boats moving in the river and help police in preventing mishaps.

On September 15 last year, around 26 local tribal youth jumped into the river at Kachluru and saved 20 tourists struggling in the swirling waters soon after the Vasista Punnami Royal tourist boat, carrying 77 persons, capsized. Fifty-one tourists died in the mishap.

The West Godavari district Superintendent of Police (SP), K. Narayan Naik, visited Vadapalli, Singanapalli, Kachluru and other hamlets on Sunday and directed the police to demarcate whirlpools and danger spots in the river using red helium balloons as a danger sign, to prevent mishaps.

“Nineteen villages are located on the river bund in West Godavari district. Most of the tribal population here depends on traditional fishing in the river using country boats,” Polavaram Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) M. Venkateswara Rao said.

Visits control room

The SP also visited the boating control room at Singanapalli and interacted with the staff. He told the police to be alert as the flood water in the river was rising. The government had set up nine control rooms for safe boating operations in the State, he said.

“The staff in the boating control room will verify the capacity of a boat and crowd management, note the arrival and departure of boats, coordinate with the revenue, fire, irrigation and other officials concerned and also the other control rooms to prevent boat mishaps,” Mr. Naik said.

“The police should ensure life jackets for passengers and prevent people from carrying inflammable material and liquor in boats. They should explain the dos and dont’s to passengers for a safe journey,” said the SP.

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Printable version | Aug 10, 2020 3:20:29 PM |

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