Karatoya boat tragedy

Prompt action needed to prevent recurrence of such incidents

Published : 26 Sep 2022 08:47 PM

We express deep shocks and sorrows at the loss of lives in a boat capsize in the Karatoya River in Panchagarh district. At least 41 people were killed so far after a boat carrying over 100 passengers sank in the Karatoya on Sunday afternoon. The boat had a capacity of carrying 50 passengers, according to the survivors.

Most of the people were going to a temple to attend a gathering marking the Mahalaya, which is observed six days before the Durga Puja festival. But their festivity turned into grief within moments.  At least 41 bodies have been recovered so far. Few passengers were seen trying to swim ashore. Therefore, the death toll is likely to rise further.

Soon after the accident, hundreds of villagers thronged the spot and many were desperately looking for their loved ones. The air of the affected area has turned into thick with grief and despair as many people are wailing or desperately looking for their near and dear ones.

The authorities concerned

 will have to take necessary 

steps to prevent recurrence 

of such incidents in future

We demand legal action against those responsible for the boat capsize and urge the government to form an ‘effective probe’ committee to unearth what really caused the accident. Unskilled sailing trawler man or boatman and lack of fitness are the main reasons for waterway accidents.

Most of the masters, boatmen, trawler men and workers of water vessels always violate the law and responsible for casualties on waterways but they remain untouched. Therefore, the families of the ill-fated people, who died in the launch or trawlers capsize in rivers do not get justice.

Apart from boats and other water vessels, thousands of launches, engine-driven trawlers and boats ply in different waters ways like rivers, canals and beel across the country. The number increases especially during the monsoon season from June to September.

The authorities concerned will have to take necessary steps to prevent recurrence of such incidents in the future. All concerned, including the owners of boat, workers and passengers need to cooperate with the government in stopping accidents on waterways.

Apart from these, vigilance teams will have to be deployed by the local administrations in their respective areas to strengthen monitoring over unfit water vessels to put an end to accidents on waterways. The government must take necessary steps in a coordinated and disciplined manner in a bid to ensure safe journey of people. The authorities will also have to strengthen vigilance and conduct raid to ensure safe journey of the passengers  on waterways.