mid day editorial: Bullying by political workers must stop

Oct 27, 2018, 07:37 IST | mid-day online desk

Investigations and subsequent reports show that neglect, bullying and a cavalier disdain for rules may have been prime cause for the boat tragedy

mid day editorial: Bullying by political workers must stop

The tragedy in the sea that left a person dead at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Memorial site, has revived demands that the ambitious Rs 2,800-crore project be shifted to land. It is not just the environmentalists who are reacting strongly to this mishap. Investigations and subsequent reports show that neglect, bullying and a cavalier disdain for rules may have been prime cause for the boat tragedy.

A report in this paper stated that political party's workers overloaded the boat, refused to wear life jackets and took a dangerous shortcut. As per schedule, after the chief secretary's boat left, a police boat was to follow it, but the political party's workers showed scant regard for others, and forced their way into the second vessel that hit a rock and sank.

The boat was overloaded and officials said their requests for passengers to wear life jackets were ignored. Nobody can be above rules when boarding a boat. Officials must have access to the police who should be free to use force to remove passengers who do not comply with basic safety regulations.

Political party workers often use clout and bullying to throw caution and rules to the wind. There are so many speedboats plying to and from Alibaug and other places. Each one has to have one life jacket per passenger, at least three spare and the person/pilot at the helm vested with all power to choose the route. He cannot be browbeaten, cajoled or forced to deviate by passengers.

There must be good communication systems on board for any emergency. Here, we see a breakdown of all systems – physical in the sense of a crash and not enough life jackets, and disciplinary, too. This is inexcusable and those who used force and goondaism to flout all rules on deck, must also share blame for this death on the seas.

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