KOLKATA : West Bengal has placed an order for 200 new modern vessels equipped with safety amenities and double engines to strengthen ferry services in the state, Transport Minister Suvendu Adhikari said today.
The vessels will have three categories with a sitting capacity of 40, 60 and 100 passengers.
Besides the new modern vessels, modernisation of some 118 jetties has been completed while work is on in another 418 jetties for ensuring safety of passengers, the minister informed the Assembly.
He said standard operating procedures have been given to 415 jetty operators.
In the wake of accidents, Adhikari said the government has initiated steps for licensing of generator-powered boats used in ferrying people.
There are some 12,000 such boats plying across the state.
He said in line with the Gatidhara project that offers subsidy of up to Rs 1 lakh for owning a commercial car, the state government is also offering such subsidy to purchase safer boats.
It was not clear from the minister's speech whether unlicensed boats will be phased out or replaced.