GUNTUR: The district officials have suspended boat and cruise services sailing on the Krishna river for two days, i.e., Wednesday and Thursday.ZP CEO Nagarjuna Sagar said that in view of the boat capsize incident at the Pavitra Sanghamam Ghat, Vijayawada that claimed 22 lives, the district officials reviewed safety measures and decided to suspend boating operations for two days. He said boat operators should follow safety norms and provide life jackets to passengers. He said permission to restart boating operations would be given after the completion of inspections by tahsildars, MPDOs and police officials concerned.
People from Amaravati, Rayapudi, Kolluru, Pulichintala, Kethavaram, Bodanam, Govindapuram, Machavaram, Regulagadda and various places in Guntur district, who travel by boat to the other side of villages in Krishna district have been hit hard. With the suspension of boating operations, the passengers have to travel all the way to Vijayawada or Miryalagudem in Telangana State to reach the other side of Krishna river.
After three years, the Nagarjuna Sagar reservoir recorded sufficient water levels to resume the cruise services from Nagarjuna Sagar to Srisailam. The Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation officials conducted a trial run in October and decided to start the cruise services from November 1.
Accordingly, the APTDC started cruise services from Nagarjuna Sagar reservoir and arranged special buses from Hyderabad to reach the destination. The move received a good response from tourists in Hyderabad, Guntur and Vijayawada.
Meanwhile, Gurajala DSP KVVNV Prasad checked whether the cruise operators have got necessary permissions and whether they have taken safety measures. He said Santhisiri, ML Krishna and Vijayalakshmi cruises have got government permission but the Nagasiri cruise does not have fitness certificate.
APTDC cruise manager D Surya Chandra Rao said the cruise services have been suspended temporarily till November 18 due to dip in water levels in the reservoir. He said 170 feet water level is required to operate cruises on the Krishna river, but due to the low inflows in the river and due to the construction of check dam near Srisailam reservoir, the officials have been instructed to suspend cruise services.