Cracking the whip on illegal houseboats

The special drive is to identify unregistered houseboats.

The special drive is to identify unregistered houseboats.   | Photo Credit: H. Vibhu

Drive to spot unregistered vessels

Cracking the whip on illegal operations of houseboats, the Ports Department has asked the Kerala Maritime Board to carry out a special drive against unregistered houseboats and inspect the registered ones to ensure that they adhere to the relevant Kerala Inland Vessels (KIV) Rules.

The move is in the wake of recent fire incidents on houseboats on Vembanad Lake. The chief executive officer (CEO) of the board has been asked to set up multiple teams with officials from the police, revenue, inland waterways, and Pollution Control Board (PCB) to complete inspection of registered houseboats in 15 days.

The special drive is to identify unregistered houseboats, shikaras and other motorised boats, to take steps to register the aceptable ones within one month, and to take action against others as per the KIV Rules. A report will be furnished to the government in 20 days.

The CEO has also been asked to ensure that the web portal for registration of inland vessels is launched within a month. The department has mooted an online tracking mechanism of houseboats in three months on the lines of the Fisheries Department.

Training sessions for houseboat owners and staff will commence in a month. The CEO will take steps to implement a comprehensive waste discharge system for houseboats after holding discussions with the district administration, PCB, and District Tourism Promotion Council.

The registering authority has also been asked to seek assistance from the District Police Chief for the custody and storage of illegal houseboats.

Meanwhile, a high-level meeting chaired by Minister for Tourism Kadakampally Surendran here on Monday decided to provide 15 ex-servicemen for the safety of the seized houseboats and to install CCTV cameras. The department will initiate steps to purchase fire boats to intervene in case of fire on houseboats.

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Printable version | Mar 29, 2020 12:51:10 AM |

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