Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren on Monday announced an ex gratia of Rs 4 lakh each to the next of kin of those who lost their lives in a recent boat capsize in the Barakar river in Jamtara district.
Several people had gone missing after the boat capsized in the river on February 24, and eight bodies have so far been recovered.
Replying to a question by BJP legislator from Nirsa, Aparna Sengupta, in the Assembly, Soren said, ”Rs 4 lakh compensation each will be given to the families of people who died in the accident from disaster management department.”
The boat was going to Berigaon in Jamtara from Berbedia in Nirsa. According to locals, there were 17 people on the boat when the accident took place and five of them were rescued. Several leaders of the opposition parties had said the accident could have been avoided if the Barbendia bridge over the river was operational. They had said people have been taking the water route to cross the river as the repair works of the bridge have not been completed. Soren said the government will soon conduct a feasibility study for construction of a bridge over the river as demanded by the BJP MLA.
”Based on the feasibility study, size and budget of the bridge will be decided,” Soren said.
Soon after the accident, National Disaster Response Force teams from Ranchi and Deoghar were engaged to find out those who had gone missing.
Notably, two pillars of the Barbendia bridge got damaged due to a flood in 2009.
In 2014, a high-level team of the state government had visited the site for assessment but ”no step” was taken further, Sengupta had said.