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CM, APCC mourn deaths Ashwaklanta boat tragedy
City Correspondent

A woman passenger of the ill-fated boat being pulled out of the swirling waters of the Brahmaputra, near Ashwaklanta on Wednesday. - UB Photos
 GUWAHATI, Sept 5 - Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal today expressed his deep sorrow over the tragic boat capsize that took place in the Brahmaputra river near Ashwaklanta in North Guwahati this afternoon.

The Chief Minister extended his deepest condolences to the members of the bereaved families, a statement issued from the Chief Minister’s Office said.

The Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) president Ripun Bora also expressed his sadness over the tragedy and extended his condolences to the members of the victims’ families. Terming the incident as pathetic, an APCC statement said that the incident happened due to negligence on the part of the State Inland Water Transport (IWT) Department.

Leader of Opposition in the State Assembly Debabrata Saikia also said that negligence on the part of the government and the boat operators concerned usually play a major part in such accidents. Apart from poor training, dangerous work practices such as overloading, insufficient safety measures, inadequate and virtually nonexistent enforcement by government agencies, are the root causes in such disasters, he alleged.

AIUDF president Badruddin Ajmal, meanwhile, alleged that such incidents take place because the IWT fails to learn any lesson from previous incidents.

Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) general secretary Monoj Saikia also expressed his shock over the incident.

Satyendra Doley, general secretary of the Save Guwahati Build Guwahati (SGBG), also blamed it on the Inland Water Transport Department as well as the district administration.

“In most cases, IWT officials do not inspect the overload in a vessel, which leads to such tragic incidents. The IWT’s duty does not end in leasing out a vessel. They should rather concentrate on ensuring safety of passengers,” Doley said.

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