After the boat accident in Godavari River at Kachluru in East Godavari district, the Telangana government temporarily suspended boat services to Papikondalu as a precautionary measure.

Earlier, the Andhra Pradesh Government too had suspended the services on September 15.

Thousands of tourists from Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and other States visit Papikondalu — more than 1,000 tourists visit the place every day, with the numbers reaching 5,000 during weekends and holidays, according to officials.

About 41 persons from Telangana and 32 from Andhra were on the Royal Vasista boat which capsized in the river on September 15. Thirty five persons lost their lives while 20 passengers survived. Search is on to find the remaining bodies.

Tourists used to board the boats at Bhadrachalam, Polavaram, Gandi Pochamma Tudi, Devipatnam, Angaluru and other river bed villages. About 50 boats were run to Papikondalu from the two States, the officials said.

The Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) operate additional buses for the convenience of passengers to Bhadrachalam from Hyderabad during holidays. Additionally, tourists use their own vehicles, private travels and cabs to reach Bhadrachalam.

The Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC) also offers Papikondalu packages to the tourists. Many private travels and boat operators used to offer packages to Papikondalu from Rajahmundry, Kovvur, Polavaram, Pattiseema and other places, the locals said.

Meanwhile, the port, irrigation, fire and police officials are conducting raids and checking fitness certificates, licenses, engine and condition of vessels after the boat tragedy occurred in Godavari River.

“In addition to the documents, we are verifying the owners of the vessels, checking the licenses of sarungs (boat drivers) and crew,” said an official.

With the two States suspending services to Papikondalu, many tourist boats were seen stopping at Godavari river banks at Rajahmundry, Bhadrachalam, Polavaram, Devipatnam and other places.
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