Three, including infant, missing in several boat incidents in Assam

first_imgAn 18-month-old infant girl has been missing after a reportedly overcrowded boat capsized in Rakhaldubi river in western Assam’s Goalpara district on Monday evening, while two more boat incidents occurred across the State on Tuesday evening. The Rakhaldubi mishap is the third boat capsize in the State in the last one week after a mechanised country boat sank in the Brahmaputra off Guwahati killing four. Officials in Goalpara district said the unregistered row-boat had 15 people on board when it sank in the river. All other passengers were rescued by locals.Around the same time, a mechanised country boat also capsized in the Beki river near Kalgachia in Barpeta district. The boat drifted after its engine failed and hit the pillar of a bridge across the river. Around 30 people on board managed to either swim ashore or were rescued.In another incident on Tuesday, a rowboat sank in western Assam’s Goalpara district around dusk, the fourth such incident since a mechanised country boat capsized in the Brahmaputra off Guwahati on September 5. According to initial reports from the district, two people — Bilal Hussain, 26 and Amina Khatun, 7 — were missing after the boat with at least four people on board sank at Khankhowa Char near Goalpara town.These mishaps involving unregistered boats happened on non-notified routes. We have registered cases against the operators,” Bharat Bhushan Dev Choudhury, director of the State’s Inland Water Transport Department, said.On Monday, Assam Transport Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary said no mechanised country boats would be allowed to operate in the entire river system of the State. After a review meeting with IWT officials, he ordered all single-engine ferries to be converted into double-engine ones with reversible gears.“As per the safety norms, there must be one life jacket for each passenger in the vessel and it will be mandatory for each passenger to put on the life jacket while boarding the vessel. The deputy commissioners shall conduct a safety audit of the ferry vessels within their respective districts,” Mr. Patowary said.last_img read more