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Private boat-owners protest against old jetty demolition

Published: 20th May 2013 10:25 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th May 2013 10:25 AM   |  A+A-

A fresh row has broken out between private boat-owners and the Kerala State Water Transport Department (KSWTD) at the Ernakulam boat jetty with the Irrigation Department demolishing the old boat jetty here.

The old boat jetty, located close to the main boat jetty, was being used by private boat operators to dock their boats.

According to sources, the Irrigation Department demolished the jetty based on orders from the KSWTD.

“On our request, the Irrigation Department brought down the jetty as we are planning to accommodate a diesel tank for the department here,” said KSWTD Superintendent, Ernakulam, Sathyan.

The request was sent to the Irrigation Department many months ago. It demolished the jetty on Saturday. According to KSWTD officials, the old boat jetty was erected temporarily by the KSWTD 10 years ago. However, they alleged that private boats encroached upon the area when the new boat jetty was constructed.

“We did not remove it then because of several issues. The private boats had started occupying the area illegally,” the officials said.

However, the Ernakulam Boat Jetty Tourist Boat Operators Association president Ajaykumar said they had all rights to use the jetty based on the High Court order. Also, the Tourism Department has given them the permission.

“The KSWTD are not willing to cooperate with us in any regard. They have been directed to accommodate us for a few more days. However, they are not willing to cooperate,” Ajaykumar said. Speaking on this, Collector P I Sheik Pareeth said they have asked the KSWTD officials to accommodate the private operators for a few more days.

“We will build a temporary boat jetty for them away from the main jetty within 15 days. We have held talks with officials in this regard,” he said. Former Superintendent of KSWTD, Ernakulam, Joseph Xavier said even though a decision was taken to set up a temporary boat jetty for these private operators two months ago, nothing has been done till now.

On Saturday, a tussle was reported between private boat operators and KSWTD officials.



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