Overloading: Port dept seizes boat in Alappuzha; Owner ex-minister’s son

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Alappuzha: Kerala State Port Department on Thursday seized a motorboat carrying passengers beyond the permissible capacity. The name of the boat seized is Ebenezer. Interestingly, the boat is owned by former minister late Thomas Chandy’s son Tobby.

Overloading was identified in the surprise check conducted by the Port Department. The boat had 62 passengers while the permitted capacity was only 30 passengers.

It may be specifically noted that the permitted capacity in the upper deck and lower deck of the boat are 10 and 20 passengers, respectively. However, even the upper deck had more than 30 passengers.

The boat has been shifted to Aryad dock. The operators were slapped with a fine of Rs 10,000. The licenses of the boat staffers too have been suspended.

The government machinery has beefed up measures to clamp down on violators after the recent Tanur boat tragedy that claimed the lives of 22 individuals.

Few days back, the Kerala High Court in a suo-moto case over Tanur boat tragedy ruled that all boats must display a notice informing the maximum passenger limit to be allowed onboard while conducting services. The court stated that the owner and 'driver srank' would be held liable if the boat carried passengers beyond the permissible limit.

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