Assam boat tragedy victims’ kin to get Rs.1.5 lakh each


Guwahati: The Assam government Tuesday announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs.1.5 lakh each to the next of kin of those who died in the boat tragedy in Dhubri district a day earlier.

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Assam Transport Minister Chandan Brahma rushed to the Fakirganj area Tuesday morning to take stock of the situation, a day after the boat carrying 250-300 people drowned in the Brahmaputra river.

The minister announced that while the family members of the deceased will be paid Rs.1.5 lakh, seriously injured passengers will be given Rs.50,000 each.

“The government has also arranged for free treatment for all victims who are undergoing treatment in various hospitals,” Brahma said.

“We have ordered an inquiry into the whole incident to find out what is the exact cause of the tragedy – whether it was overloading of passengers or the weather,” the minister said while countering the allegation that overcrowding was a common practice on ferries in the state.

The Assam transport minister also assured the local people of improving on a priority basis the communication infrastructure to Fakirganj, which falls within Jaleswar legislative assembly constituency, .

“We have already arranged for technically sophisticated motor launches to ply between Dhubri and Fakirganj and the new motor launches will arrive by next week,” he said, and added that the government had already sanctioned a bridge over the Brahmaputra to connect Jaleswar and Dhubri.

“The construction of the bridge will start soon,” he said.