New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today announced an ex-gratia of Rs two lakh each for next of kin of those killed in the Assam boat tragedy. Assam state government also announced a compensation of Rs 1.5 lakh each to victims of the boat disaster.
“An assistance of two lakh rupees has been announced for the next of kin of each of the deceased in the tragedy from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund,” a PMO statement said.
Assam government announced compensation for victims of the boat disaster in Dhubri district and said a new ferry service would be started in the area within a week to ensure that such tragedies do not recur.
State Transport Minister Chandan Brahma said the state government would provide Rs 1.5 lakh to the next of kin of those have lost their lives in the boat tragedy yesterday.
“Besides, Rs 50,000 would be given to those boat passengers who sustained serious injuries and all those admitted in hospitals would receive free treatment,” he told reporters.
Under fire over alleged irregularities in registration of
ferries, Brahma said an inquiry has been ordered and “Anybody found guilty of any violation of rule would not be spared.
A new ferry service by the state Inland Waterways department would begin operation within one week between Dhurbi and Jaleshwar. It is aimed at providing hassle-free ride to passengers, who currently have to use overloaded
private ferries, between the northern and southern banks of Brahmaputra River.
Besides, feasibility study is on for a bridge over Brahmaputra between Dhubri and Phulbari. “Brahmaputra and its tributaries are the lifeline for people in Dhubri-Goalpara area. Only a bridge can bring a permanent solution to the transportation problem between the two banks of the river,” the minister said
Over 100 people drowned in Brahmaputra river yesterday in one of the worst boat disasters in Assam.
In one of the worst boat tragedies in Assam, at least 103 people, including women and children, are feared to have drowned and over 100 went missing when an overloaded boa capsized in the Brahmaputra river during a storm, in Dhubri district of western Assam on Monday evening. Rescue operations were hampered due to bad weather and nightfall.
The overcrowded ferry was carrying a passenger load of over 300 people – mainly local farmers and their families – when it tipped over in a storm on a one-km (half-mile)-wide stretch of the Brahmaputra river in a remote region of the state, close to China and Bangladesh, police said. The operating capacity of the boat is 225.
Eyewitnesses told police the vessel was old and broke in two after capsizing in the swollen river, one of Asia’s largest. Smaller boats often get into trouble on the river, but the ferry was the largest to sink in recent years.
Police said some 150 were rescued or swam to safety. The ferry carried no lifeboats or lifebelts and the chances of picking up more survivors after a night in the water were remote.
With inputs from PTI