After the unfortunate fire accident at the Visakhapatnam Fishing Harbour on 19 November 2023, the District Officials planned to convert the area into a no smoking zone. Fisheries department joint director Sheikh Lal Mohammad declared the harbour area as a no smoking zone on 8 December 2023. It maybe recalled that the fire accident was caused by a burnt cigarette which was thrown onto a engine of a boat. A single spark of fire has destroyed more than 40 boats.
The Fisheries department director, along with the GVMC have decided to designate the Visakhapatnam fishing harbour area as a no smoking zone. Lal Mohammad also stated that the destroyed boats have been lifted using heavy cranes. The Visakhapatnam Port Authorities have confirmed that the fishermen can decide whether they want to rebuild the boats or sell them.
The authorities also observed that the fishermen are leaving diesel tanks and gas cylinders unattended at the harbour. The director has proposed that maximum of only five litres gas stove will be allowed on a boat. In addition, there will also be a token system implemented to pump diesel in the boat. The authorities also plan to carry on few other safety and modernisation works at the harbour to prevent future accidents. Furthermore, signage boards will be set up at the area to create awareness amongst the fishermen about the safety norms.
According to reports, the Vizag Port Authorities will closely monitor the ships leaving the harbour. A new law will also be implemented stating that only the boats leaving the harbour should be filled with diesel. Strict measures will be enforced to ensure that no fisherman is violating the Petroleum Act, Civil Supplies Act, and other laws.
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