Andhra Pradesh

No lessons learnt from last year’s boat accident

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Cameras, boards warning visitors of depth not in place

On November 12 last year, the confluence of the Krishna and the Godavari rivers witnessed a disaster. A tourist boat with more than 40 persons on board capsized not more than 100 meters from the Pavitra Sangamam ghat at Ibrahimpatnam killing 21 tourists.

Till date, there is no clarity on the exact reasons behind the accident but the point where the two rivers meet has been identified as dangerous considering the strong inflowing currents that could even overturn boats.

Help came only after more than half an hour when the staff of a boating company were alerted by locals then.

Except for the SDRF personnel posted at the Sangamam ghat, nothing has changed or been done as promised to save people from drowning as on Saturday when four engineering students drowned at the same point. There are no surveillance cameras, boards warning visitors of depth, gushing water or security personnel posted to warn the hundreds that take bath on weekends. The spot considered dangerous is left open for disasters.

On the flip side, the students are blamed for being careless. As one of them climbed the barrier and fell, the others tried to save him and were washed away, according to officials.

Minister for Water Resources D. Umamaheswara Rao assured that the entire ghat area would be brought under electronic surveillance. “Also important spots will be monitored by the SDRF or the police personnel,” he said during his visit to the ghat on Sunday.

Similar promises were made and plans announced by police and other departments after the boat tragedy but none realised. “After the accident, a huge number of rescue personnel were brought in to retrieve bodies. Instead, the government should focus on precautionary steps,” said K. Chaitanya, a resident of Ferry village.

Currently, the Ibrahimpatnam police deployed two police personnel to guard the ghat along with the SDRF team.

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2019 6:37:39 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/no-lessons-learnt-from-last-years-boat-accident/article24248542.ece

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