Goa's Spirited Online Weekly Magazine.

Ferrytale - II

Shock and awe

My investigation of the ferry problem exposed an amazing fact.  Approximately, Rs 9 cr is spent by the government to run the ferry service each year.  There’s another side to the story.  There is just too much for the tiny fleet of ferries to handle.


The Crossing: ferries operating as on November 24, 2008

Kerim-Tiracol -1; Kiranpani-Aronda -1; Camurlim-Tuem -1; Calvim-Carona -1; Pomburpa-Chorao -1; Panjim-Betim -1; Ribandar-Chorao -3; Old Goa-Divar -1; Ribandar-Divar -2; Vanxim-Amboi -1; Naroa-Divar -1; Tolto-Dhauji -1; Cumbarjua-Gaundalim -1; Tonca-Sarmanas -1; Volvoi-Surla-Maina -1; Madcaim-Cortalim -2; Rassaim-Durbhat -1; Rai-Shiroda -1; Cavelossim-Assolna -1. 

Total crossings: 28

Ferries available: 23

Details of major repairs that will have to be scheduled in the next 4-6 months: ferry Rai –bottom plates require replacement; ferry Divar –Bottom plates require replacement; ferry Diu –bottom/hull is weak and doublers welded together; ferry Sanquem – deck plates completed perforated.

This is the stark truth and if you think the ferry you use to cross over daily is any more seaworthy than the above listed -think again.  Better still, check out the gaping holes on the sides of the ferry.  Which is why, I say you are day dreaming if you think this deserves drastic official.  This government and the new River Navigation Department minister are just not interested.  They are looking at greener pastures like turning Margao into a whole new arts and culture centre.

While this government makes it so easy to be nailed for its sins of omission and commission, a disturbing fact is that the residents of Divar Island and I presume Chorao Island, are part of the problem.  For the official (with ticket) Rs 10 Divar-Ribandar fare, the ticketless tariff is Rs 5 and for the official Rs 7 Divar-Old Goa fare, ticketless travels costs Rs 5.  I see the logic, though I do not myself indulge, in paying Rs 5 instead of Rs 10, but for crying out loud, why pay Rs 5 for Rs 7.  The downside is the ferry crew go overboard (metaphorically speaking) to accommodate the many, many trucks and buses that cross daily, because there's really big money to be made here. 

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