Formula for a ferry disaster in place

Published : 9:45 am  July 4, 2015 | No comments so far |  | 


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By Dayarathna Pathirana
Although a ferry boat purchased at enormous cost by the Kesbewa UC to operate a ferry service from Kahapola, the boat is  lying turtle at the Kesbewa UC sub-office premises, while a decayed and unsuitable ferry is yet in service charged Chamara Maddumakaluge, UC member at the May meeting of the Kesbewa UC held recently. The meeting was presided over by the Kesbewa UC Chairman Sumana Vivien Ranaweera.

Maddumakaluge went on to say that the Kesbewa UC had purchased a new ferry boat in 2013 as a replacement for the old one that was in service. However while the new boat remains unused, the old and decaying one is still ferrying passengers inviting a disaster. Those who were better informed of the condition of the boat have started avoiding travel using  the ferry. This drop in passengers, has caused operating losses and an injustice to the lease holder of the ferry.

The Kesbewa UC chairman also said that even the provision of safety jackets to passengers was implemented after much debate in the council and spotlighting of the absence of safety jackets in the media. Ranaweera refuting these charges said: “After I became the chairman I provided safety jackets to be issued to Kahapola ferry passengers. However, motorcycles cannot be taken on board the boat recently purchased. A new service programme is to be implemented soon.”