Search teams on job to trace boat capsize victims in Goalpara

From Our Special
Correspondent

GUWAHATI: Search operations for three persons, including an infant and a child, who went missing after separate boat mishaps in Goalpara district, are under way with both river police and State Disaster Response Force teams engaged since the past couple of days.
A one-and-a-half year old girl was feared drowned following a boat mishap at Rakhaldubi in west Goalpara around 4pm on Monday while an eight-year old child and a 26-year-old man went missing in a row boat accident at Khankhuwa char on Tuesday.
Goalpara district administration sources said that a country boat carrying about 15 persons lost control and capsized on a tributary of the Brahmaputra at Rakhakdubi.
The infant, who was reportedly on her grandparent’s lap, slipped into the water as the boat capsized and went missing while the others swam to the shore.
The river was not too deep but there was a strong undercurrent that compounded the problem and made the boat unstable at Rakhaldubi while the Khankhuwa mishap was triggered by inclement weather, sources said.
“The row boat at Khankhuwa char was carrying three passengers and heading towards Bongaigaon when it capsized in the storm. While the two went missing the third person swam to the shore. Our rescue teams are on the job but they are yet to be traced,” B Talukdar, circle officer, Balijana, told The Shillong Times on Wednesday afternoon.
Many in the riverine areas of Assam, including Goalpara, operate row boats to ferry people for a living.
The state government has temporarily barred plying of mechanised country boats on the Brahmaputra in the wake of the recent mishap in north Guwahati where at least five persons lost their lives.
“The administration is taking firm measures to ensure that such boats do not ply on the river,” he said.