VIJAYAWADA: Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Friday inaugurated nine control rooms to regulate boating operations in the State in the tourism sector and monitor whether the boats are following the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) or not.
The nine control rooms are located at Singanapalli (West Godavari), Gandi Pochamma (East Godavari), Perantalapalli (West Godavari), Pochavaram (West Godavari), Rajahmundry (East Godavari), Rishikonda (Visakhapatnam), Nagarjuna Sagar (Guntur), Srisailam (Kurnool) and Berm Park (Vijayawada). After the boat tragedy in Godavari, which claimed more than 40 lives, movement of all boats, including those belonging to the tourism department, were stopped and it was decided to set up a fool-proof monitoring system involving all departments concerned to avoid such mishaps in future.
Addressing the district collectors through video conference on the occasion, the Chief Minister explained that this initiative was taken by the government in order to provide a hassle-free boating for the tourists. “After the Godavari river tragedy, as a responsible government, we strived to work out a permanent solution to the problem and nine control rooms is one of the measures initiated,” the Chief Minister said and asked the district collectors to personally monitor the control rooms at least once in a week to check if the SOPs are followed or not.
The Controls Rooms initiative is one among the many measures taken to check the safe movement of boats and to regulate their operations. They will be manned by trained personnel and will keep a track on the movement of boat, check their fitness and steps to be taken in case of any untoward incident happened. The SOP has been circulated to all the control rooms, which they should strictly follow, the Chief Minister said. The Control Rooms will have a ticket counter, online service, public address system, wireless communication system, mechanism to avert mishaps and expert divers. The State has purchased special equipment for safety and communications while safety kits will be available in the boat itself.
The equipment includes life guards, life jackets, public address system, fire extinguishers, online advice, first aid, breathe analysers besides patrol boats and rescue boats. The government has brought in Boating Operations and Management System and operational guidelines were issued. All the boats and launches operating in the rivers should be registered with the Andhra Pradesh Maritime Board and Tourism Department should give a No Objection Certificate (NOC).
Further, end-to-end management systems will also be put into use. Dispatch clearance for every boat is mandatory and all the boat operations will be monitored realtime by the control rooms, which will even have display of tourists boarding boats, status of boat licenses on a daily basis. Revenue department officials will be managers of the control rooms. Ministers Avanti Srinivas Rao, Peddireddy Ramchandra Reddy and other officials participated in the review meeting.
Singanapalli (West Godavari)
Gandi Pochamma(East Godavari)
Pochavaram (West Godavari)
Rajahmundry (East Godavari)
Berm Park (Vijayawada)