In order to tackle the accidents and loss of lives during waterborne excursions and passenger transport, the provincial relief, rehabilitation, and settlement department has developed a comprehensive action plan to enhance safety measures.
According to a statement, the department has decided to tackle the lack of swimming skills, absence of personal flotation devices (PFDs) and the issue of overloading boats as major contributors to these unfortunate incidents.
With the summer season approaches, rivers experience increased water levels and intensified currents, significantly elevating the risks associated with water activities. Picnickers, especially families with children, often unknowingly expose themselves to danger by venturing near fast-flowing rivers without taking necessary precautions.
The department has also issued guidelines to be implemented pragmatic measures, including Installation of Barriers or Signs Controlling access to Water and the district administration will install barriers or signs warning of water hazards, including unsafe crossings, swollen rivers and canals, and water-filled ditches. These barriers or signs may be manned during hazardous periods to deter people from approaching fast-flowing water.
The District Administration, with the support of Rescue-1122 where available, will coordinate and provide these trainings. Mandatory Use of Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs): Personal flotation devices, including life jackets and buoyancy devices, will be readily available at all waterborne excursion spots, such as tourist huts or administrative points.
The irrigation department will establish and enforce regulations governing safe boating practices, covering boat seaworthiness, passenger capacity, use of PFDs, skilled boatmen, prevention of overcrowding, travel restrictions during adverse weather, communication devices, and provision of oars as a contingency.
Public awareness campaigns will be launched through local advocacy, radio broadcasts, and social media platforms to promote responsible behavior around water bodies.
Secretary Relief Abdul Basit said that by implementing these comprehensive safety measures, the Relief Department aims to reduce the frequency of accidents and ensure the safety of individuals engaging in waterborne excursions and passenger transport.