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Rescue efforts on after Assam boat mishap

Last updated on: May 1, 2012 20:56 IST

Rescue efforts on after Assam boat mishap

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Rescuers are continuing the search for nearly 230 passengers of the ill-fated motor-boat that capsized in Brahmaputra River in Assam's Dhubri district on Monday evening.

Forty bodies so far have been recovered by the rescue teams of the National Disaster Response Force and the Border Security Force, according to official sources. Eighty people have been rescued so far.

The rescue workers are fighting inclement weather and strong currents of the river while carrying out the operation.

The state government has constituted a one man enquiry committee to probe the mishap. The enquiry will be conducted by Additional Chief Secretary Jitesh Khosla, who will submit his report within 30 days.

The committee will ascertain facts and circumstances leading to the incident and also determine if there were any lapses on the part of the authorities.

The BSF has alerted Border Out Posts along the riverine stretch of the Brahmaputra River to look for survivors of the mishap and also search for dead bodies.

Reportage: K Anurag in Guwahati

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Rescue efforts on after Assam boat mishap

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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has conveyed to the Assam government that the Centre will provide Rs 2 lakh compensation to the next of the kin of the deceased while the Assam government has announced a compensation of Rs 1.5 lakh for them.

The state government will provide Rs 50,000 to the seriously injured victims.

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Rescue efforts on after Assam boat mishap

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According to sources, there were over 350 passengers including women and children on board the motor boat when it left Kachari ghat in Dhubri for Jaleswar in Goalpara district.

The mishap occurred when a storm hit the boat about 90 minutes after the start of its journey.

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Rescue efforts on after Assam boat mishap

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The NDRF and the BSF personnel, in coordination with the Assam police, are still conducting search operations in the river.

Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi informed media personnel that as the accident site is close to the India-Bangladesh border, the Centre has got in touch with the Bangladesh government and is seeking its cooperation in tracing those who have gone missing after the tragedy.

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Rescue efforts on after Assam boat mishap

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The chief minister has deputed three ministers to Dhubri to take care of the rescue operations. He has also asked the NDRF to expedite the operation by deploying more men and equipment.

The state government has ordered a probe into the tragedy.

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Tags: NDRF , Assam , Dhubri

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Rescue efforts on after Assam boat mishap

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Motor boats are the primary means of transport for people living on both banks of Brahmaputra River in Dhubri and Goalpara districts. Many of these boats are not in very good condition due to lack of maintenance by the owners.

There is no early warning system to alert the boats about the possibility of a cyclonic storm, though the area is prone to such storms.

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