A meeting convened by the district administration has decided to make registration mandatory for all houseboats in Alappuzha.
The meeting presided over by Union Minister of State for Power K C Venugopal has asked the houseboat owners to submit applications in this regard in one week to the Ports Department, failing which the police would seize the boats.
The meeting, held at the collectorate conference hall on Wednesday, also discussed steps to ensure the safety of tourists and houseboat employees in the district.
The minister said that a week’s time will be given to all houseboat operators to apply for registration certificates.
After one week, the Ports Department will conduct inspections in boats. The houseboats will be seized from the operators, who fail to apply for registration certificates.
“As per the Ports Department, only 490 houseboats have registration certificates in the district. However, over 800 boats are conducing services,” the minister said.
“It will take a month’s time to get the registration certificate from the Ports Department. Criminal cases will be registered against the houseboat operators who do not possess registration certificates after one month.
Alappuzha SP has been given instructions to constitute three police teams for patrolling in the parts of Vembanad Lake at Muhamma, Punnamada and Pallathuruthy. The police teams will have the power to conduct inspections inside the houseboats during cruising,” the minister said.
Venugopal said the licence of the houseboats and their crew members will be revoked if they consume alcohol during duty time. Those houseboats and crew will be included in the blacklist prepared by the district administration,” the minister said.District Collector P Venugopal said the Ports Department would set up a sewage treatment plant for the houseboats and that the district administration would identify suitable land for this purpose.
Additional District Magistrate K P Thampi, District Tourism Promotion Council secretary C Pradeep and officials of the Ports and Police Departments also attended the meeting.