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Round-the-clock vigil at Godavari Pushkaram Ghats

Rajahmundry, July 17 (INN): The Fisheries Department has kept a round-the-clock vigil at all categories of ghats since the pilgrims are found taking dip all the 24 hours.

Disclosing this to newsmen at the Godavari Pushkarams Main Media Centre at Arts College premises here on Friday, Deputy Director of Fisheries Dr. V. Venkateswara Rao of East Godavari, said this necessitated increase in the number of boats from 486 to 510 and the number of divers from 2,600 to 2,800.

The divers were roped in from among local fishermen, provided training in advance in rescuing pilgrims found choking in water, and drowning.

Every ghat has a fisheries employee put incharge and he would supervise the activity. ‘Fortunately, there is no flood situation in Godavari and the water level is less. As of now there is no danger due to floods. Pilgrims could take a dip within four to five metres. The divers will always be on the alert and they would use the whistle to the situation,” he explained. He also said that rural ghats needed more protection and on the suggestions of village committees, local swimmers and boats would be arranged.

On the sanitation in the river, Dr. Venkateswara Rao said the municipal corporation was taking care of it and Fisheries was not assigned the job.

However, the Fisheries was fishing out the wastes with about 300 nets.

For sedimentation due to Pindapradanam, clothes were being used. No nets were allowed below water on the floor as they posed dangers to the pilgrims taking the dip, he explained. Regional Joint Director Johnson Choragudi was present. (INN)