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Boat ride across Godavari is risky
- Ferry service at Pattisam sans permission
- The operators are ferrying 150 passengers per trip against the permitted number of 80 passengers
- Rs 50 is charged per head and tickets are not issued
Pattisam (Eluru District): The ferry service from Pattisam ghat to Sri Veerabhadra Swamy temple proves to be risky and fatal. Even after the tragedy of a ferry sank into Godavari killing many passengers, the authorities
concerned are neglecting to take necessary precautions to prevent mishap.
During Kartika Masam, people throng to Pattisam Veereswara Swamy temple and perform special pujas every day to appease Lord Veereswara Swamy and Bhavanarayana Swamy. After reaching Pattisam, people must use ferry service to cross Godavari river from Pattisam ghat to the temple.
But the organisers are operating ferries without permission. They do not follow rules and regulations. As per rule, only 80 passengers are permitted to travel at a time. But the organisers will ferry 150 passengers. There is no protection and the passengers are exposed to sun and rain.
Pattisam ferry service operators are collecting Rs 50 per head without issuing any tickets to them. According to sources, a total of 2,000 passengers will be ferried per day to the temple, with 150 people per trip.
Without heeding to the instructions on a display board about the precautions and total number of passengers per trip, issued by local panchayat officials, the ferry organisers are playing with the lives of the people.
Many passengers demanded to issue tickets as they are paying Rs 50 per head. And they wondered why the authorities are not taking this issue serious.
A passenger K Rama Mohan complained that the ferry is overloaded and ticket was not given to him.
He expressed concern regarding passengers' safety as the ferry organisers are deliberately flouting the rules without bothering about the safety of passengers.
Another passenger G Hymavathi questioned the fate of the passengers, if the ferry meets with accident as it exceeds the permitted number of passengers.
She pointed out that ferry service staff don't have the required permission to operate the ferry across the river.
The passengers demanded District Collector Prasanna Venkatesh to take immediate steps to prevent any tragic incident in Godavari river due to the violation of rules by the ferry staff. They want stringent action to be taken against ferry operators for not possessing the required permission to operate across the river.
When 'The Hans India' contacted River Conservator R Kasi Visweswar Rao, he said that no permission has been granted to any ferry operator so far.
He informed that they are not giving permission to operate ferries after the tragic incident in Godavari some time ago.
He assured that as the matter came to his notice, he will order an enquiry and necessary action would be taken in case of violation of the rules.