WARANGAL: It has been 25 days since an ill-fated boat capsized in Godavari river near Devipatnam in East Godavari of Andhra Pradesh, bringing the lives of as many as 38 people to a tragic end.
As family members still cope with the loss of their loved ones, even more disturbing is the seeming apathy of the government. It is learnt that after nine of the 14 villagers of Kadipikonda died or went missing in the said accident, both the district officials of Warangal Urban and the public representatives immediately reached the victims’ homes, promising ex-gratia and “all sorts of help”.
A month on, however, they have neither contacted the families nor extended help with the official procedures.
It may also be noted that the bodies of only six of the nine victims have been retrieved and handed over to their relatives so far. The families of the remaining three ‘missing’ persons do not even have clear information on whether their loved ones had drowned or survived the capsize. Only five out of the 14 people, who went together on the pleasure trip from the village, were rescued. The TS government had announced ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh each to families of victims who died in boat tragedy.
“I lost my elder son Avinash in the boat accident. He was just 17 years old,” one of the victims’ mother Baske Kavitha Rani told Express. Many officials and political leaders had come to visit their family after the mishap occurred. They had promised Rani at the time that the State government would give them sufficient financial aid. She was also told that a double-bedroom house would be allocated as well. “But we have still not received a single rupee from the officials,” she said.
When contacted, Warangal Urban District Collector Prashanth Jeevan Patil said that the ex-gratia amount would be handed over to the victims’ families soon.