ALAPPUZHA: The Kerala State Water Transport Department (KSWTD) here on Friday decided to conduct additional trips from Ernakulam, Vaikkom, Muhamma and Alappuzha boat jetties during the rush hours. It was decided at a meeting of KSWTD officials chaired by Director Shaji V Nair at the KSWTD directorate in Alappuzha.
The KSWTD also decided to constitute two-level security committees, introduce ‘log book’ in all service boats and provide training for boat crews to ensure the safety of passengers.
In the wake of the Thekkady mishap, KSWTD permits only 100 passengers in a boat due to security reasons. So the scarcity of adequate boat services now creates hurdles for the passengers especially in Ernakulam district.
Shaji V Nair told Express that though KSWTD had 53 boats, only 47 boats were conducting services. “At present, it is impossible to increase the number of boats for conducting services. So we decided to conduct additional trips at peak hours,” KSWTD officials said. However, four old boats of KSWTD, which are now conducting services, will be replaced by four steel boats in November.
Security committees will be formed in every boat jetty under a high-powered committee. These committees will take effective steps to ensure the safety of passengers.
`Log book’ will be distributed to every service boat and the employees should mark the number of passengers in a trip, the names of boat employees on duty and the duty time in the book. If the boat develops any technical sang during its service, it should also be mentioned in the book, said KSWTD authorities.
At present, KSWTD has around 17,00 employees and 700 of them are working in the operating section.
However, KSWTD has only 23 drivers for operating its 47 boats. After the bypoll, KSWTD will appoint 32 drivers through PSC and all the paper works in this connection have been completed, the officials said.
A special training for the boat crews will be started soon with the help of the Fire and Rescue Service officials