PANAJI: Citing reasons behind irregular ferry services operating on various routes of Goa, Minister for Department of River Navigation Subhash Phal Dessai hinted towards the necessity of its privatisation.
Phal Dessai said that the RND is not only facing the issue of lack of staff but their proposals of recruiting the staff have been reverted back from the concerned government department due to a lack of proper analysis. Phal Dessai emphasised the issue of frequent breakdown due to lack of maintenance as the prominent one.
Stating that the Department of RND will try to add the novel concept of introducing the row ferries in the next budget, “Efficient, double engine row-row ferries consisting of the ramp on either side of the ferry would help in speeding up the movement of traffic, but these ferries are expensive and not included in current State budget”. He further assured that everything will be put in place within half a year that will help RND provide better service to the commutators.
Informing that a total of 32 ferryboats are operating on 18 waterways, Faldessai said, “Ferryboat as a conventional means of water transport has hardly seen any upgradation since an era it commenced its operation. Also, the Number of ferries were not increased with the increase in population. The lack of regular upgradation with respect to its routes, maintenance and operation has resulted in frequent complaints from commuters”.
“The employees working on ferry boat are not permanent employees. They are either working on a contract basis or on daily wages. Many are over-exploited by asking them to work overtime but not paid on time. As a result, this staff often threatened to protest against the RND”.
Adding further that the climatic condition, such as low tide, and foggy conditions, also hampers the functioning of ferry boats, Faldessai urged the commuters to plan an alternate route prior as per the climatic condition to avoid any inconvenience. He also added that the department of RND is in the process of privatising the ferry services due to the ample challenges it has to face each day.