Compensation for Assam boat tragedy victims

Dhubri/Guwahati: Assam government today announced compensation for victims of the boat disaster in Dhubri district and said a new ferry service would be started in the area within a week to ensure that such tragedies do not recur.

State Transport Minister Chandan Brahma, who reached the spot about an hour ago, said the state government would provide Rs 1.5 lakh to the next of kin of those have lost their lives in the boat tragedy on Monday.

"Besides, Rs 50,000 would be given to those boat passengers who sustained serious injuries and all those admitted in hospitals would receive free treatment," he told reporters.

Under fire over alleged irregularities in registration of ferries, Brahma said an inquiry has been ordered and "Anybody found guilty of any violation of rule would not be spared.

A new ferry service by the state Inland Waterways department would begin operation within one week between Dhurbi and Jaleshwar. It is aimed at providing hassle-free ride to passengers, who currently have to use overloaded private ferries, between the northern and southern banks of Brahmaputra River.

Besides, feasibility study is on for a bridge over Brahmaputra between Dhubri and Phulbari.

"Brahmaputra and its tributaries are the lifeline for people in Dhubri-Goalpara area. Only a bridge can bring a permanent solution to the transportation problem between the two banks of the river," the minister said.