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Goa canoe mishap toll rises to 9
Sandesh Manohar Prabhudesai in Panaji | April 17, 2003 12:21 IST
The death toll in Tuesday's canoe mishap off the Anjuna beach in Goa on Wednesday rose to nine.
The police identified the nine bodies, all of tourists from Andhra Pradesh.
Except S Sridhar, who is from Karimnagar, the rest are from Khammam district.
They are: D Janardhan, D Anjanullu, V Nageshwar Rao, Ashok Reddy, V Sridharan, V Srinivas Rao, K Rama Rao and K Nageshwar Rao.
K Venkat Rao from Vijay Nagar is under treatment at a district hospital in Goa.
The Anjuna police have already registered a case of culpable homicide under section 304 IPC against the canoe operator and two crew members. All three are absconding.
The tragic incident took place when a group of 25 tourists from among a 200-strong contingent from Andhra Pradesh hired a canoe for a joy ride. Earlier estimates had put the number of tourists at 600.
A strong wave in the rough sea is suspected to have caused the mishap.
Tourism Minister Mickky Pacheco on Wednesday told the assembly that thousands of such canoes are operated illegally along the coast, but assured an immediate end to such activity.
However, state Tourism Director N Suryanarayan said it was difficult to act against the canoe operators since the Merchant Shipping Act 1958 exempts any ship below 15 tonnes from registration while the Captain of Ports of the state government has no jurisdiction to act against them.
Hence, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar plans to propose an amendment to the Goa Tourists Act, making it mandatory to register all canoes or boats ferrying tourists in Goan waters � river or the sea, in the ongoing assembly session.Besides registration, the limit on number of passengers, insurance, life jackets and provision for lifeguards would be made compulsory, Parrikar said.
More reports from Goa