Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had on Thursday ordered the police to file a criminal case and have suspended three employees of Inland waterways department during his visit at the Nimatighat in Jorhat district of Upper Assam to take stock of the boat capsize tragedy, which claimed one live till filing of this report.
A private boat named Maa Kamala, heading towards Majuli with at least 90 passengers — as per tickets — sank on Wednesday evening, after a collision with a government-owned ferry near Nimati Ghat.
CM Sarma said that 87 of the 90 passengers boarded on the Maa Kamala boat has been rescued till now and two went missing.
“We have lost the life of a girl when the unfortunate incident happened at around 4 pm (last Wednesday),” said Sarma.
He said that the family members of the deceased — Paimita Das, an assistant professor in a college at Majuli — will receive Rs 5 lakh ex-gratia as per government norms and if needed, government job will be provided to an immediate member of her family.
“The NDRF and SDRF teams are carrying out the rescue operation. Till now, we have found 90 passengers were boarded at the Maa Kamala boat but the figures may change because many passengers board without ticket.”
“I have asked the Jorhat Police to file a criminal case for the accident. By today evening, we will announce a high-level probe to find out the reasons behind the accident,” Sarma said addressing media after holding meetings with the concerned officials.
Sarma informed that three officials of inland waterways were suspended on Wednesday after the boat capsize tragedy took place.
CM Sarma said, “I feel that due to major flaws on management the incident may have occurred. There are four government ferries at Nimatighat and we will send two more ferries from Guwahati.”
Sarma has also ordered ban on single engine boats and have asked the owners to install marine engine to their boats.
“Marine will cost around Rs 10 lakh for which government will arange for a subsidy in purchase,” he said.
Sarma further said, “We are thinking for dredging from Nimatighat to Kamalabari. We have to discussed with Union minister Sarbananda Sonowal. Sarbananda Sonowal is coming to Guwahati on Friday and we will discussed about the matter,”.
When asked about Majuli bridge, Sarma said, “Already drawing has been done for the project and all the project details was send to Delhi and from this year November the construction work of the bridge will be start and within four years it will be completed.