The Odisha Government on Monday ordered a probe by the Revenue Divisional Commissioner (RDC) into the boat accident in Hirakud Dam Reservoir.
Making a statement on the incident in the Assembly, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kalpataru Das said the Chief Minister, who is in New Delhi, has already announced the RDC probe into the incident.
The minister said the boatman of the ill-fated boat has become untraceable after the incident. The Chief Minister has announced an exgratia of `1.5 lakh from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund to the next of kin of the deceased, the minister said and added that all treatment expenses of the injured would be borne by the state government.
Raising the issue during Zero Hour, Leader of the Opposition Bhupinder Singh demanded that the incident should be discussed in the House to fix responsibility.
Criticising the district administration for the lapses that resulted in such a tragic accident, BJP state unit president K V Singhdeo alleged that standard safety measures were never adopted in any of the waterbodies where boats are being operated.
Singhdeo said the state government should put in place a monitoring body and boats should not be allowed to carry more than their capacity. Santosh Singh Saluja of the Congress demanded strong action against those responsible for the accident. He asked whether adequate safety arrangements were in place and why there was no monitoring body to prevent boats from carrying excess passengers. Congress members Anup Sai and Mamata Madhi also criticised the state government for not taking measures to prevent boat accidents.
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Monday visited the site of boat tragedy in Hirakud reservoir and conducted an aerial survey of the area. He spent some time at Jamadarpali Ghat on the banks of River Mahanadi and met some families that lost their dear ones.