As the last rays of the winter sun glimmer on the Hussainsagar, a teacher of Kazhakootam Sainik School gets into a scrap with the supervisor of the boating facility at the Lumbini Park abutting the lake . As the head count reveals 118, the teacher wants all the students to be accommodated in the boat which has a capacity of 80. “Let all the students be together. They are young,” says the teacher. The supervisor refuses to accede to the request as other families jostle to get into the boat. The students wait for another bigger boat.
“This is a regular occurrence. People are not bothered about safety; they want to just enjoy the ride together. Luckily, Hussainsagar is a calm lake and doesn’t have running water. So, it is safer than boating in the turbulent waters of Krishna river or Godavari. More importantly, all our pilots are licensed,” says an official of the boating facility.
“I never allow more people than the number of chairs in the boat. There are lifebuoys as well as safety jackets, but people seldom use them. Only foreign tourists insist on wearing them as soon as they get into the boat,” says Manohar, who has been piloting the boat for the past 15 years. “I am a licensed pilot and every year, the licence is renewed at Kakinada Port after a thorough check of health, sight and driving ability,” informs Manohar.
Two years earlier, the Telangana Tourism…