Illegal boat services to island in Kollam raise safety concerns

Currently, only DTPC has permission to operate the boat services to Sambranikodi Islands. Photo: Manorama

Anchalummoodu, Kollam: The fitness of boat services that are operational in the state - passenger and tourist - assumes greater focus in the light of the recent boat mishap at Tanur, Malappuram.

For instance, the picturesque Sambranikodi island at the southern tip of Ashtamudi Lake in Kollam has been seeing a rise in tourist flow of late.

The District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) is operating tourist boat services to take visitors to and fro as part of the Sambranikodi tourist project.

However, many complaints have surfaced recently about illegal boat services being operated by private entities to the island, raising concern about the safety of visitors.

Services without safety measures
Private boats are operating illegal services to Sambranikodi and nearby islands without taking adequate safety measures to deal with emergency situations. The other day, one such boat was caught in strong winds and waves - finally, it had to be tied to a pole ashore.

Some time ago, a woman had died after the country boat she was rowing overturned at Sambranikodi island.

Thereafter entry to the island was restricted for some time and reopened only after controlling the illegal services. 

However, the illegal services have resumed operations again, which have raised fears in the minds of local residents and visitors. A complaint has already been lodged with the police against such services to Sambranikodi island. 

Only DTPC has permission
At present, only DTPC has the permission to operate boat services. The agency has deployed licenced boats having all the required safety systems. The authorities have warned tourists arriving in Kerala against travel in illegal boat services operated by private parties.

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