Passengers created furore as a couple of boat services were stalled on Friday evening owing to delay in procurement of diesel at the Ernakulam Boat Jetty.
Passengers travelling along the Ernakulam-Fort Kochi, Mattanchery routes were forced to wait for several hours before services could be operated, sources with the Kerala State Water Transport Department (KSWTD) said.
“Boats which were supposed to be operated after 2 pm were suspended for several hours. Ever since the Central Government had decided to remove the diesel subsidy, the KSWTD has been procuring diesel from a private pump at Cherthala in Alappuzha. Private contractors were roped in to bring diesel to the Ernakulam Jetty. However, the contractors did not bring the fuel to the Jetty as was mentioned in the contract. We were forced to withdraw a passenger service so that diesel could be brought to the Jetty from Thevara.”
Flaying the KSWTD they said, “There is no need to rope in private contractors to bring the diesel from a private pump in Cherthala as there are many private pumps and contractors willing to provide diesel in Ernakulam itself.”