WhatsApp Image 2023-02-26 at 9.49.20 AM (1)
WhatsApp Image 2023-02-26 at 9.49.20 AM

Poor safety norms in boats

Kochi: The drowning of at least 22 people, following the capsize of a tourist boat at
Poorapuzha estuary in Malappuram district in Kerala, has once again exposed the chinks in the lawlessness in the state.
The state has witnessed countless numbers of boat disasters in the last four decades and it continues unabated as the conviction rate is minimal.
Kerala’s legendary poet Kumaran Asan was among the 24 victims who died in a boat capsize in 1924 during a trip from Kollam to Kottayam.
But it was about a century ago when there were no life jackets and other life saving aids.
Many accidents in water had made it mandatory for the boat riders to wear life jackets, but no one sticks to the guidelines.
The boat operators also do not insist them to wear life jackets.
On September 9, 2009, a boat mishap in Thekkady claimed lives of 45 tourists who were taking a ride through Periyar River.
Twentynine people were killed on July 27, 2002, when their ferry drowned in the Vembanad lake between Muhamma and Kumarakom in Kuttanad.
Eighteen people including 15 children lost their lives in a boat capsize near Thattekad Bird sanctuary near here. In 1980, a ferry capsize killed 29 pilgrims of a local church at Kannamaly near Kochi. In 1983, 18 persons drowned when a boat sank at Vallarpadam.
A state endowed with 44 rivers, backwaters and network of canals, needs to have a strict system to operate ferries and boats or else such tragedies would occur and the culprits would go scot free.

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