Standard Operating Procedure of Jetties/ Ferries

Government of West Bengal
Transport Department
Paribahan Bhawan
12, R.N. Mukherjee Road, Kolkata – 700 001

No. 3450-WT/TR/O/3W-15/2016 Date: 05.09.2016


WHEREAS the Government in the Transport Department has taken serious note of the accidents/ incidents occurred in some of the jetties/ ferries of the State endangering thereby the safety and security of the general ferry passengers in the recent past;

WHEREAS the Government is concerned about the safety and security of the ferry passengers and considering the same as of paramount importance is, therefore, convinced that appropriate measure/ system for ensuring the same is required to be there in place;

WHEREAS all the stakeholders have been consulted and their views duly considered and collated in formulation of model Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for all ferries/ jetties in the State;

Now, therefore, the Governor is pleased to formulate the model Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) as described below for its mandatory compliance/ observance in all the jetties/ ferries in the State with immediate effect for ensuring safety and security of all passengers using the ferries/ jetties:

Model Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)

1) All the details of the timings of the ferries, fair-chart and other details are to be displayed at the main entrance of the jetties.

2) No. of tickets are to be issued to the passengers according to the carrying-capacity & frequency of the vessels so that in no way over loading takes place.

3) Only those passengers equivalent to the no. of maximum carrying capacity of the vessels shall be allowed entry beyond the gate with security lock to the embarkation point.

4) The maximum passenger carrying capacity for each vessel is to be clearly displayed on the body of the vessel and at the embarkation point.

5) A public address system is to be in place for making regular announcements with regard to

i) arrival/ departure of vessels

ii) passenger loading capacity of arrival vessel

iii) the timing of bore/ high tide, etc.

iv) precautions regarding the railway track

v) the necessity of co-operation in regulating the Stop-gate function.

6) Passengers having proper tickets are to be allowed to enter into the gangway as well as pontoon only after berthing the vessels in the jetty.

7) No passengers would be allowed to stand on the gangway and proceed towards pontoon while there is no movement of ferries.

8) Proper security gate with locking facilities shall be made available at all the ferry ghats.

9) Passenger embarkation and dis-embarkation gate of each vessel has to be closed before de-berthing the vessel from the jetty.

10) Entry gate is to be closed at least 10 minutes prior to commencement of bore tide.

11) During adverse weather condition, the ferries should be stopped without any delay and under no circumstances it will be restarted without the permission of the authority.

12) The local police authority to ensure the security and safety in and around jetty and gangway.

13) The operators are to be informed to take measures as per IWT norms regarding safety and security of passengers and accordingly no vessel would be operated without proper Life Saving Appliances (LSA), Fire Fighting Appliances (FFA), and Light Sound & Signal Appliances (LSSA)

14) Prior notice regarding date and timing of the commencement of bore tide is to be served among the crews of the vessels and to all concerned so that precautionary measures can be taken accordingly.

15) No vessels shall be operated without having and displaying proper Certificate of Competency of Serang and Driver issued by the statutory authority. A copy of the said Certificate of Competency is to be kept with them while on board.

16) No vessel would be operated without having Navigation Lights in proper action according to the Marine Practice and valid documents such as survey certificate, insurance, fitness certificate, etc.

17) A vessel in service is to be berthed only alongside the pontoon and must not be berthed alongside other vessels.

18) A team of skilled divers are to be deployed to address emergencies and regular training for them would be undertaken from the end of authority concerned.

19) Photo identity cards are to be issued to all personnel working at ferry ghat and the same shall be displayed on the respective person.

20) Regular inspection and surprise checks have to be undertaken by the authority concerned to ensure the compliance of guidelines enshrined in the SOP.

21) Jetties should have properly illuminated Gangway with safe wooden racks & Pontoon should have roughened surface to avoid slips during rain.

22) Except the river side of the Pontoon where the vessels are moored, the Pontoon should be fenced on all sides at least with minor iron-fencing.

23) Stop-gate is a must at the juncture of link platform as well as the gangway entry. The Stop-gate needs to be closed when ferry services are off; prior to commencement of bore tide. The Stop-gate at gangway entry should be kept closed during the peak, rush hours not allowing passengers to gather on the gangway, until de-boarded passengers completely leave gangway; especially from April to September (being the season of foul weather).

24) Passenger embarkation & disembarkation gate of each vessel must be closed before mooring of vessels from jetty.

25) At Railway crossing siren/ hooter should be used by Railways at least 250 mts. prior from each side.

By order of the Governor

Additional Secretary to the
Govt. of West Bengal

No. 3450-WT dated 05.09.2016