Post-26/11, ferry operators’ business hits rough weather | india | Hindustan Times
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Post-26/11, ferry operators’ business hits rough weather

india Updated: Mar 02, 2009 01:24 IST
Rachna Pratihar
Rachna Pratihar
Hindustan Times
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Post-26/11, the ferry services operators at the Gateway of India have suffered a 50 per cent drop in business.

The police have, in a bid to secure the coast, ordered the operators to not sail at night and have reduced working hours of the launches from 17 hours to 12 hours.

Earlier the Gateway Elephanta Jal-Vahtuk Sahakari Sanstha used to sail launches to Elephanta, Mandwa, JNPT and also hold cruises and parties till midnight. But now the last ferry leaves the jetty at 7 pm.

“The number of launches has reduced to 30, half of what it used to be,” said Usman Abdullah Panchi, chairman of the Sanstha. “Earlier we used to earn Rs 90,000 on an average per month but now we manage to make about Rs 50,000 a month.”

The 5,000-odd workmen are badly hit. “It’s tough to make ends meet,” said Vinayak Shitodkar, who has been working on a launch for a decade.

“Hotels Taj and Oberoi are back in business, but we are still suffering,” said rued his colleague Sunil Chowdhary

The police had also instructed the operators to hire private security guards, give them identity cards and introduce uniforms for workmen, adding to their expenses.

Also, after the terror attack the number of tourists has dropped. Now, with only three of the five jetties at the Gateway being operational, the number is further dwindling, the Sanstha said.

They have written to Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal and other ministers, but has got no reply.