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87 people rescued, two missing & one dead in Assam boat accident; CM announces corrective steps

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The Assam government on Thursday informed that 87 people have been rescued after the boat they were travelling in collided with another boat and capsized in the Brahmaputra river in Assam’s Jorhat district yesterday. Two passengers are still missing whereas one passenger, a 23-year-old woman, died in the boat accident.

At least 90 people were aboard the boats when they collided with each other at Nimati Ghat in Jorhat. While one of the boats was coming from Nimati Ghat to Majuli—a river island on the Brahmaputra, the other boat was sailing in the opposite direction.

Videos from the accident showed the boat capsizing after the collision, as some passengers tried to hold on to it while others jumped into the water to save themselves. The passengers’ luggage along with motorbikes and cars on board the boats also washed away in the river.

Assam CM visits accident site

Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma visited the accident site and the hospital where those rescued are being treated. He has ordered the Jorhat district administration to register a criminal case on the accident and also ordered a high-level inquiry. Also, three officials of the Inland Water Transport Department have been placed under suspension following the accident.

Taking a cue from the unfortunate accident, the CM also announced corrective measures to avoid such accidents in the future.

In a series of tweets, he said, “From today, plying of private ferries will be stopped as they don’t have marine engine. If owners wish to convert single-engine to marine engine, GoA will provide grant of Rs 10 lakh with a 75% subsidy. SoP will be issued to schedule health check-ups of those working on boats.”

“To ensure uninterrupted service of Ro-Pax throughout the year, dredging between Kamalabari & Nimati Ghat will be carried out to create a navigation channel. DCs of Jorhat & Majuli will re-schedule & monitor timings of the ferry service,” the CM said.

Also, Sarma said “A bridge connecting Jorhat & Majuli is under construction. A group of ministers will review its progress.”

On the lone death, Sarma said, “I am deeply pained at the demise of Parimita Das of Kahilipara, Guwahati, whom we lost in the boat accident. GoA stands by her family in this hour of grief and promises to extend all needful support. I shall be meeting her parents soon. May her soul rest in peace.”

 

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