We are ensuring that all tourists wear the mask and use the sanitiser. For those who fail to carry the mask, we are arranging for them in the boat. They are also wearing life jackets as a safety measure, said a tourism boat operator. DC Image
Vijayawada: The state government has decided to restrict occupancy to 50 per cent in tourism boats on the Godavari and Krishna rivers and other water bodies as a precautionary measure against the spread of the Coronavirus.
The AP Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC) operates nearly 150 boats and others are managed by private operators.
The move comes in the backdrop of good tourist response to the resuming of boat operations on the Godavari river from Pochammagandi and Pochavaram to the popular destination Papikondalu. The trip from Rahamahendravaram to Pochammagandi and the cruise till Papikondalu lasts seven to eight hours. Two to four boats are being operated in this route in a day carrying 250 to 300 tourists.
Tourists especially from parts of Telangana arrive to Badrachalam and proceed by road to Pochavaram and take the cruise to Papikondalu, lasting for five to six hours. Two to three boats are being operated in a day carrying 100 to 200 tourists. The rush of tourists is more during weekends and festive season.
The boats on the Godavari river are air-conditioned in the lower deck. The upper deck is open.
APTDC managing director S. Satyanarayana said, "We are planning to restrict seating capacity to 50 per cent in all tourism boats in both public and private sectors very soon as a precautionary measure to curb spread of Coronavirus. We have already restricted occupancy in all our hotels to 50 per cent."
Tourism boat operator G.V.V.S.N. Murali Krishna said, "We are ensuring that all tourists wear the mask and use the sanitiser. For those who fail to carry the mask, we are arranging for them in the boat. They are also wearing life jackets as a safety measure."
Ajay Choudhary, another tourism boat operator, said, "I have arranged seating on upper deck in an alternate manner which means the tourists have to leave one seat next to them. That ensures maintenance of some distance."