Goa: Boat cruise operators object to casino feeder vessel operations

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Boat cruise operators have addressed a letter to the state disaster management authority (SDMA), stating that despite the Captain of Ports (CoP) issuing warning regarding bad weather, small vessels in Mandovi river are still operating and taking passengers to floating casinos.

A high wave alert was recently issued by the SDMA, advising all small vessels to suspend near shore recreation activities from June 9-11. Several small vessels usually operate in Mandovi river on a daily basis. These vessels take passengers to floating casinos that operate in rivers at designated places.

Aakash Madgavkar of Goa Boat Cruises said, “We appreciate the orders from your office and the CoP department as this was a very important alert and order to ensure the safety of all locals as well as tourists in Goa during this period. Therefore, all vessels (big/small/steel/fibre) have followed these orders keeping the safety of guests, staff and the vessels in mind and stopped our operations and shut our jetties.”

Despite that, Madgavkar said that small vessels have been operating from June 9 to 12 without any restriction putting both staff and visitors at risk along with violating the orders from the SDMA and the CoP department. He then asked the SDMA to take strict action against these vessels.

“We request the SDMA to take the required action with regard to the violation of the above orders for the safety of all concerned and to make sure that implementation and enforcement of such orders are strictly followed in the future,” Madgavkar concluded as quoted by The Times of India.