Assam CM Orders High Level Probe Into Nimatighat Boat Tragedy

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Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma visited the site where a passenger ferry capsized on Wednesday in the Brahmaputra near Nimatighat of Jorhat district and ordered a high level probe into the boat tragedy.

The Chief Minister took stock of the present situation and rescue operations by NDRF and SDRF. The CM monitored the rescue operation for around 45 minutes from the machine boat. Ministers Chandra Mohan Patowary, Jogen Mohan and Bimal Bora, MPs Topon Kumar Gogoi and Pradan Baruah, MLAs Hitendra Nath Goswami, Bhaben Bharali and Renupama Rajkhowa and DGP Bhaskarjyoti Mahanta were also present during the visit of the Chief Minister.

The Chief Minister said that Jorhat District Administration has been directed to register a criminal case on the accident. A high-level inquiry will also be instituted today. Already three officials of the Inland Water Transport Department have been placed under suspension.

Speaking to the media CM Sarma said, “From today, plying of all private ferries will be stopped as they run on single-engine and do not have a marine engine. However, if the owners wish to convert the single-engine to the marine engine, State Govt. will provide a grant of Rs. 10 lakh with a 75% subsidy.”

“There are four Govt. ferries presently available to render service between Kamalabari and Nimatighat. Apart from the ferries, two Ro-Pax are also available. Govt. will send two more ferries to Majuli soon. To ensure uninterrupted service of the Ro-Pax throughout the year, dredging between Kamalabari and Nimatighat will be carried out to create a navigation channel”, the Chief Minister added.

DCs of Jorhat and Majuli will re-fix the timing of the ferry service. Two magistrates, one each from Jorhat and Majuli will monitor timely playing of the ferries.

CM Sarma also informed that construction of the bridge connecting Jorhat with Majuli is underway and it will take four years to complete the bridge. A Group of Ministers (GoM) will also be formed to review the progress of construction.

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