|Medertary boat mishap toll 62|
A HANIF ALI
MEDERTARY, May 5 – Local people of Pora Bhita today recovered one more body raising the total number of recovered bodies of the ill-fated victims of the April 30 Medertary ferry mishap to 62. The body has been identified to be of Inamul Haque (6), son of Azibur Rahman of Baladubi village.
Normalcy is yet to return to the Medertary areas as the people of these areas are yet to recover from the shock of the April 30 mishap, which is described by several quarters here as one of the worst mishap of its type in the recent past.
Meanwhile, Medertary has become a favourite hunting ground for the politicians of various hues. But there is no improvement in the ferry services between the district headquarter town of Dhubri and the areas dependent on it and located on the southern bank of the Brahmaputra. The Inland Water Transport vessels that have been sent to Buraburi Ghat, located near the Medertary Ghat, are not used to augment the ferry services between Dhubri and Medertary areas.
The privately-operated ferry boats are carrying passengers far beyond their prescribed limits as usual, throwing all norms to winds. The damaged boats are also in operation. The authorities are turning a blind eye to all such audacities of the private boat operators.
Today, Union Shipping Minister G K Bhasan accompanied by several of his Congress party colleagues and a host of Jamat-Ulema-e-Hind leaders including Moulana Arshad Madani, visited Medertary. They took part in an all-faith prayer begging solace to the souls of those who had lost their lives in the April 30 mishap.
Yesterday, a much bigger tragedy was avoided when local boatmen rescued a privately-operated ferry boat with about 500 passengers from near the zero point on the Indo-Bangla border. The ferry boat was swept away by the turbulent current of the Brahmaputra to the zero point of the Indo-Bangla border. The boat left Sukh Char around 7-30 am for Dhubri but midway its engine developed a snag. This correspondent was present at Sukh Char at the time of the incident.