Andhra Pradesh Tourism is all set to make a fresh attempt to launch speedboat rides at the Fishing Harbour. However, it may come to an abrupt halt if the fishermen’s union opposes the initiative.
Currently fishing harbour faces a serious shortage of space. Satyanarayana Murthy, president of Viasaka Dolphin Boat Operators Welfare Association, said, “the harbour, designed for 100 mechanised boats, currently has 700 boats.” This raises questions on the sustainability of the speedboat initiative by the AP Tourism .
G. Vijaya, Harbour Fisheries Development Officer, said, “we haven’t been informed about the initiative by the AP Tourism. The Export Inspection Agency is already facing challenges to manage workload in the harbour.”
As per the AP Tourism, the project has received the approval from Kakinada Port and it's in the final stages to get approval from Visakhapatnam Port. Divisional Manager AP Tourism Jeevan Prasad Reddy said, “Initially we deploy one speedboat. It has the capacity to carry about seven people. The fare for each ride per person is likely to be Rs. 200. The rides will begin from the jetty number 11, the last jetty on the harbour.”
Currently, a seven seater speed boat is parked at jetty 11. Since jetty 11 is the last point of the harbour, the tourists will have to walk at least two km from the harbour entrance because there is no parking space and no provision for shuttle transport to the jetty.
Public transport may not be allowed since the harbour is already very congested amidst hustle and bustle of fishing activities like - loading ice into boats, unloading the day’s catch from the boats and selling fish. Also there might be security concerns since a part of the jetty 11 is under the Indian Navy. Most part of the road leading to jetty 11 is used for drying fishes, which emanates unbearable smell. . If the public transport is allowed, it will lead to contamination of fish due to increase in traffic, say experts.
“The ocean currents don’t make RK Beach an ideal location for recreational activities,” says senior principal scientist of National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) GPS Murti.
Senior professors at the Department of Oceanography and Meteorology, Andhra University, say sea from Pudimadaka to Bheemunipatnam is rough even during normal days and it is likely to be more rough during high tide and depression period. Rides in small boats may not be conducive for tourists, who are not accustomed to rolling and pitching of the boat, they say