There are around 14,000 semi-mechanised boats and Rs 3 to 5 lakh is required to convert a semi-mechanised boat into a mechanised one.
Kolkata: As part of the river safety campaign, the state transport department will soon introduce five robust steel vessels for ferrying passengers on the river Ganga. A top official of the transport department informed that the vessels, with a capacity of 250 passengers each, have been made by the West Bengal Transport Infrastructure Devel-opment Corporation. (WBTIDC)
“We are hopeful that WBDITC will deliver the vessels to us within a few days and we will start operation in a fortnight,” the official said. Each of the vessels cost Rs 160 lakh.
In the wake of the jetty disaster at Bhadreswar in Hooghly district last month that snuffed out the lives of more than 14 people, the Mamata Banerjee government had announced a slew of measures for the safety of passengers travelling across the river.
“Our government will gradually stop semi-mechanised boats from ferrying passengers and overhaul the jetties across the state that are not in good condition. Thirty per cent of the total conversion cost, or a maximum of Rs 1 lakh would be provided to the owners of the semi-mechanised boats,” an official said.
There are around 14,000 semi-mechanised boats and Rs 3 to 5 lakh is required to convert a semi-mechanised boat into a mechanised one. It has been found that the semi-mechanised boats are illegal, unregistered, unsafe and are a major reason for accidents.