Amid lockdown, Majuli district administration has allowed movement of passenger ferries from two ghats of Majuli to one ghat of Jorhat from Tuesday.
An order by the Majuli district Administration states that the ferry service to be run by Inland Water Transport (IWT) wing of the Transport Department, will be only between Kamalabarighat (Majuli) and Nimatighat (Jorhat) and vice-versa, and between Afalamukhghat (Majuli) and Nimatighat and vice-versa.
The order mentiones that no ferry service will be resumed between Majuli and the northern bank of the Brahmaputra (Lakhimpur).
The Majuli district administration has set a number of guidelines that are to be followed during the movement and only 50 per cent of the total passenger intake capacity of a ferry will be allowed.
The order passed by Majuli Deputy Commissioner Bikram Kairi on Monday stated, “Only 50% of total number of ferries that had plied regularly, immediately before the lockdown period are allowed to ply under the authority of IWT Department. The Ferries will ply with only 50% of the total intake capacity as mentioned in the Registration certificate. All the northern bank Ghats will remain closed and in the southern bank, only Kamalabari- Nemati Ghat and Aphalamukh-Nemati Ghat will function. The private ferries may operate under the authority of IWT without violating the upper limit on the number of ferries plying per day i.e. 50% in aggregate. Asst Executive Engineer, IWT Sub-Division, Jorhat will report everyday about the number of ferries that had plied and ensure that COVID-19 norms of social distancing and other necessary measures are followed during the boarding, travel, and de-boarding in the Ghats. The AEE-IWT is also directed to arrange hand washing and sanitization at Ghats before boarding and de-boarding and ensure that no person is allowed to board the ferry, without wearing face mask.”
As a precautionary measure all the passengers will have to wash hands and sanitize themselves before boarding and de-boarding and the sanitization arrangements must be made by the Inland Water Transport (IWT) department.
Also, all the passengers have to follow social distancing norms and wear masks during their travel.
Wearing of masks by passengers and ferry crew members has been made compulsory. Handwashing facility at the ghats for passengers will have to be readied, before boarding and after de-boarding by IWT along with sanitization of the boats will have to be done, the order stated.