Kolkata: The State Government is soon going to make rules to ensure that wearing life jackets becomes compulsory for passengers on vessels criss-crossing the Hooghly.
Life-saving jackets have already been started to be handed to passengers at jetties. Another almost 5,000 life jackets are being bought by the State Government to implement the new rules.
The government has also banned the unstable small motor boats (called ‘bhutbhuti’ in Bengali) and is gradually bringing in launches. Twelve launches would be introduced by the first week of December.
Further, from January 1, 2018, every jetty along the Hooghly is going to have two certified and uniformed volunteers called ‘jalasathi’, armed with identity cards, to ensure that rules and regulations are being adhered to. They would be working in tandem with the local police stations.
In related developments, it needs mention that the State Transport Department is implementing a standard operating procedure (SOP) in 362 jetties across Bengal at a cost of Rs 36.2 crore. New RO-RO services are also being launched shortly between Kakdwip and Sagar Island, in time for the Sagar Mela this coming January.