Overcrowded ferries a disaster in waiting

Updated: Apr 18, 2020, 05:38 IST | The Editorial | Mumbai

The big boats carry twice as many people and are filled way beyond capacity

This picture has been used for representation purpose
This picture has been used for representation purpose

Why are we not surprised about reports of three labourers missing after a small fishing boat overturned mid-creek between Madh Island and Versova?

These are disasters that are simply waiting to happen in the area between Versova and Madh Island.

Those in the know, who make that crossing often, will be witness to the chaos and blatant flouting of rules when it comes to the Madh Island and Versova crossing. During lockdown time, the huge boats carrying people across are not plying.

In this particular incident, it is a small boat that had overturned.

The big boats carry twice as many people and are filled way beyond capacity. These ferries have motorbikes also loaded on, with their owners pushing them on the boats as they ply the shortdistance between Madh and Versova.

In case a boat starts sinking, there will not be enough life jackets for everyone — this is certain. What is evident too, is that people will be unable to get out of these boats in the eventuality that they start going down.

This is because of overcrowding and the fact that all the motorbikes and other paraphernalia will topple and obstruct them from an escape route.

It is a nightmare situation to contemplate but think about it we must.

Post lockdown, if these huge boats re-start, it means doom for any social distancing given the way they are packed. Even the approach from the Versova side and the jetty is filthy.

Authorities need to wake up and crack down on this entire commuting system instead of just investigating this case or one police complaint.

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