A number of tourists coming to have jolly boat rides in Visakhapatnam beaches have to return disappointed as all the boating facilities have been temporarily stopped.
Post the tragic boat accident in the Godavari at Kutchuluru in East Godavari district on September 14, all boating activities for tourists in Visakhapatnam district have been put on hold by the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC) owing to reinspections. The APTDC officials have been waiting for the inspection for almost one month.
The APTDC has been running speedboat facilities at Rushikonda Beach and RK Beach (near fishing harbour). While RK Beach has one speedboat (eight-seater) facility, Rushikonda has two speedboats (three-seaters) and one Jetski facility. Even the Kayaking facility at Rushikonda Beach has also been temporarily stopped.
The officials said that tourists started to arrive Visakhapatnam from October first week. A number of tourists are being sent back daily since Dasara.
Boating in sea is a very different experience. My children are more disappointed, said Songath Padhi, a tourist who came to Visakhapatnam along with his family from Cuttack, Odisha. An official from the APTDC said, During a normal day, the boating facility at fishing harbour will generate about 15,000 revenue. In tourist season, the revenue is doubled. Both the fishing harbour and Rushikonda facilities will easily earn 70,000 revenue.
Sources from the Tourism Department said that they have sent proposal for a 40-seater boat to run at fishing harbour for tourists, as the old boat is not in a good condition. The proposal is yet to get its nod from the higher authorities.
Though all the boats have fitness certificates, as a precautionary measure, the Kakinada Port officials, who generally give boat licences, would once again inspect the boats. We were told that the team is busy at Kutchuluru in bringing out the capsized boat and would visit Vizag soon, said Divisional Manager, APTDC Visakhapatnam, T.G. Prasada Reddy. He also added that all the tourism boats are running with licence and expert drivers.