In the serene waterways between Vasai and Bhayander, a story unfolded that has caught the attention of many, not for the beauty of the journey or the efficiency of the service, but for a party that was quite unexpected. A ferry named ‘Aarohi’, which operates a roll-on/roll-off (Ro-Ro) service designed to ease the commute and transport vehicles across the waters, became the setting for a celebration that has sparked conversations and concerns far beyond its decks.

It all began when videos surfaced on social media showing a group of young people indulging in a liquor party aboard the ‘Aarohi’. The visuals, captured one night, depicted the youths enjoying drinks and blasting music, turning the ferry into a floating party venue. This footage, once it made its way online, stirred a mix of reactions among the public and raised questions about the appropriateness of such activities on a service vessel intended for public use.

The Maharashtra Maritime Board, when confronted with these visuals, shed some light on the situation. They revealed that the ferry owner had granted permission for a birthday celebration to a contractor, implying that this was a private event. However, the addition of alcohol to the mix and the subsequent broadcasting of the festivities online caught many off guard, including the authorities.

The incident raised eyebrows not just for the revelry but for the safety implications of hosting a liquor party on a public service vessel. The questions were not just about the appropriateness but also about the legalities of such an event given the strict laws surrounding alcohol consumption in public spaces in Maharashtra.

Adding a layer of controversy to the incident were claims linking the partygoers to the local political scene. Allegations flew that those seen drinking on the ferry were activists affiliated with the Mira-Bhayander BJP, led by Ravi Vyas. Vyas, however, was quick to distance himself and his party from the incident, denying any connection and emphasizing that those involved were not his activists.

The Maharashtra Maritime Board, in response to the uproar, has taken a cautious stance, clarifying that the event did not occur during the ferry’s operational hours dedicated to public service. The ferry owner had lent the vessel for a private birthday party after service hours, and the use of the ferry for such purposes, given it is a private asset outside operational hours, falls under the owner’s discretion. This clarification, however, did not completely douse the flames of public concern, especially given the visuals of the liquor-laden party on a service vessel.

In light of these events, the story of the ‘Aarohi’ ferry party serves as a reminder of the complexities surrounding public services, private celebrations, and the legal and social boundaries that govern our actions. As the discussions continue, the incident has become a point of reflection for many on the responsible use of public assets, the importance of adhering to laws designed to protect public welfare, and the ever-present eyes of social media ready to broadcast our every action to the world.