Thekkady boat had serious defects: Expert


Kochi (Kerala) : The ill-fated Thekkady boat that capsized in Kerala last month leaving 45 tourists dead had serious defects, K.S. Pyarelal, head of the department of shipping at the Cochin University of Science and Technology, said Wednesday.

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The boat carrying 87 passengers capsized in the lake at the Thekkady wildlife sanctuary Sep 30.

After submitting his detailed report to the investigating Crime Branch, Pyarelal told reporters here that the capacity of the boat was just 42 passengers.

“At no cost could the boat have an upper deck. The design of the boat which was by an IIT Chennai professor Ananatha Subramaniom, was also faulty. No inclination test was done by the owner of the boat and there were lapses on the part of the boat certifying authority also. The expertise of a naval architect was also not sought by the owner of the boat before starting operations,” said Pyarelal.

The double-decker boat, owned by the state-run Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) was put into service a month back before the tragedy occurred.

Already six people have been arrested in connection with the incident.

Last week all were given bail by the Kerala High Court.

Pyarelal also said that none could challenge the contents of his report as it was done in a scientific manner and all aspects were looked into.

After a cabinet meeting in the capital city, Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan told reporters Wednesday that if the services of a sitting High Court judge were not used to conduct the judicial probe then they would look for other options including a district judge.