Guidelines for Boat Operations, Regulation, Monitoring and Safety of Passengers in the State


Water Resources Department - Guidelines for Boat Operations, Regulation, Monitoring and Safety of Passengers in the State – Orders - Issued.
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G.O.Rt. No.667             Dated:16.11.2017



Government have decided to streamline the Registration, Licensing, Regulatory and Safety eco-system for the entire Inland Waterways and Water Bodies with respect to Boating Operations for passengers, cargo traffic as well as tourism.  Exercise for the same is likely to take some time.

2.     Pending the completion of above exercise and keeping in view the urgent need to put in place an interim mechanism for Boat Operations, Regulation, Monitoring and Safety of Passengers, following guidelines are issued for immediate implementation by all concerned:

      At present, Fitness Certificate and Route Permissions (in short license) are being issued by the concerned Executive Engineers of Water Resources Department  as per the Rules framed under the Canals and Public Ferries Act, 1890.  The Licenses thus issued are for one year duration and subject to the conditions incorporated therein.  As of now such licenses are mostly being issued for boating operations in Krishna and Godavari Rivers. 
II. Inspection / Verification of Licensed Boats; Safe Boat Certificate
A)   All the District Collectors shall immediately constitute a District Level Committee consisting of Officers from Revenue, Police, Water Resources, Fire Services, Tourism and Fisheries Departments to take stock of the entire boating operations situation in their respective districts.  Executive Engineers of Water Resources Department shall submit a list of all the licenses issued by them so far to the District Collector.  The District Collectors shall constitute teams of officials from Revenue, Police, Water Resources and Tourism Departments and ensure inspection of all the licensed boats from the point of view of compliance of license conditions including passenger capacity, availability of life jackets (at the rate of 1 life jacket for each passenger including crew), life buoys (at the rate of atleast one for every 5 passengers), firefighting equipment and other safe navigation requirements.  After the submission of inspection / verification reports by these teams to the satisfaction of District Collector, a Safe Boat Certificate shall be issued by the Water Resources Department from the concerned Executive Engineer, Water Resources Department.
B)     Safe Boat Certificate shall be prominently affixed at the entrance of the boat and only such boats shall be allowed to ply.
C)      No boat without a valid and verified license will be permitted to ply.
D)    The entire process of verification, giving clearances and issue of Safe Boat Certificates shall be completed within a period of 15 days from the issue of these orders.
E)   Special teams constituted by the Collector as above shall also be responsible for conducting quarterly inspections and submission of reports to the District Collectors detailing lapses, if any.
F)     Licensing authority from the Water Resources Department shall also be responsible to get the licensed boats inspected on a quarterly basis and maintain the record of the inspection reports.
G)    A list of all the licenses issued by Water Resources Department shall be made available to all the concerned departments.
III. Installation of BUOYS:
The Water Resources Department shall install floating BUOYS at all the busy routes duly indicating any protruding rocks, silt / sand formations and any other accident prone zones.
       A list of major Ferry points shall be prepared and notified by the Water Resources Department and control rooms shall be established at all these points with following minimum requirements:
a) The control room shall have Officers from Police, Water Resources and Tourism Departments;
b) The control room should have wireless connectivity with all the licensed boats plying in their jurisdiction.  The responsibility of installation of GPS, wireless sets in the boats shall lie with the boat operators;
c) Officers manning control room will have the responsibility of checking each boat from the point of view of safety, overloading etc and giving departure clearances duly maintaining a log book for the same.  Criminal action shall be initiated against the operators for over loading or violation of any safety conditions.

d) Coordinating and leading rescue efforts in any unforeseen circumstances.
V. Stationary SDRF Teams :
      Stationary teams of SDRF (State Disaster Response Force) shall be positioned in adequate strength by the Police department at all the major  ferry points mentioned in the above paragraph.  The Police Department / Fire Department shall also deploy adequate number of inflatable patrol / rescue boats with trained man power at important and busy routes.
3.    These orders are applicable to passenger as well as goods plying boating operations in all Rivers, Canals and other Water Bodies in the State including Reservoirs and Tanks and shall come into effect immediately.

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