The state Transport department has taken a series of steps to ensure safety of people while crossing River Hooghly in launches from different transit points.
It may be mentioned that Suvendu Adhikari, the state Transport minister, had taken several initiatives to revive the inland water transport service to provide an alternate mode of transport facility to the people.
Another reason behind improving the water transport system is to bring down the pressure on the road transport system.
The thrust area of the project is to create such infrastructure at the transit points, so that there would be no risk at all while getting onto vessels from jetties. The infrastructure will be developed in such a way that there will be not even a little gap between the jetties and a launch.
Thus, there will be no risk of anyone falling into the river while getting down from the vessel.
According to a senior official of the state Transport department, the project has been taken for 68 jetties in the state. It was noticed that in most of the jetties the commuters rush to get onto a launch. At many transit points, people get down from a launch and at the same time another set of commuters march towards the launch to get onto it.
Thus, the Transport department has planned to set up an iron gate at the entry point on the jetty. With the setting up of the gate, commuters will be allowed to move ahead to get onto a launch only after those who had reached from the other side of the river gets down.
Moreover, at present, there are no security railings on the edges of the jetty. The Transport department has also taken step to set up railings on all sides of the jetties so that no one accidentally falls into the river. The district authorities have been given the responsibility to monitor the work of setting up of railings at the edge of the jetties.
At present there are 377 iron jetties at different transit points from where the ferry services are available. Apart from 29 jetties, the rest are looked after by the district administration or civic bodies. The 29 jetties are under West Bengal Surface Transport Corporation. Initiatives have also been taken to install surveillance cameras at all the transit points.