Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government is mulling constitution of a regulatory authority to control the operations of houseboats, an integral part of cruise tourism, in the state waters.
A proposal to set up the authority was under the government's active consideration as majority of house boats were found to be flouting mandatory protocols and norms to be followed, Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran told the state Assembly on Tuesday.
The government decided to make rules stringent in the wake of a recent incident, in which a houseboat had caught fire in Vembanad Lake in Alappuzha district as it was cruising with 13 tourists, including three children.
The tourists had a miraculous escape as they jumped into the shallow waters and were rescued by another passing boat.
During an inspection, it came to light that majority of houseboats were operating illegally, the minister said.
Around 2,000 houseboats were operating in the area but only around 800 were found to have license, he said.
"We cannot allow this to continue anymore. We should have stringent regulations to control its operations.
There is a proposal before the government to constitute a regulatory authority for the purpose.
We are mulling bringing a legislation in this connection at least in the next assembly session," the minister said.