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Boat Capsized in Hirakud Dam

Posted by: DO Team Updated:10.02.2014

Boat capsized at right side of Hirakud Dam, Sambalpur Odisha on 9th February 2014. About 50 persons including women and children are feared to have lost their lives. 27 bodies have been found by today afternoon. Preliminary visuals suggest that THERE IS A SERIOUS VIOLATION OF BOAT SAFETY RULES BY THE BOAT OWNER AS WELL AS BY THE BOAT SURVEYOR (OF GOVERNMENT) IN CHECKING THE SAFETY REGULATIONS AS PER ORISSA BOAT RULES, 2004 as framed by Govt. of Odisha under adopted sections of Northern Indian Ferries Act, 1878; Bengal Ferries Act, 1885 and Canals and Public Ferries Act, 1890. PLEASE SEE THE LINK. SECTION 23 (5) OF THE RULE says, every boat exceeding 10 tons shall have on its sides amidships a conspicuous mark 2.5cm height and 15cm wide cut and painted white to indicate the free-board or greatest depth to which it may be immersed when fully loaded. The free-board may be calculated at the rate of 25 cm for every meter of depth. As per the photo of the Boat, the gross tonnage capacity of the boat seems be designed to go beyond 20 tonnes (As per formula given at Section 23(4) of the Rule), THIS SEEMS TO BE THE MAIN REASON OF VIOLATION BY THE BOAT OWNER, DUE TO WHICH IT SANK. The boat owner (here Manjhi-Pilot) could have denied to ferry as per section 30(E) of the Rule, had he calculated the likely sinking depth of boat at mid of dam at very river bank itself due to over-boarding. HAD HE BEEN TRAINED AND SENSITIZED ON THESE RULES ??? HAD THE BOAT SURVEYOR OF GOVT. MADE REGULAR VERIFICATION AS A PART OF AWARDING LICENCE TO BOAT OWNERS IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTIONS OF 17, 24 (c), 25 (d), 27 (j), 30 and 31 OF THE RULE IN THIS REGARD ????? AS PER SECTION 27 (J) OF THE RULE, its tindal manjhi (the Pilot) must have a certificate of competency of serang or a certificate of competency of 2nd class driver issued under the Inland Vessels Act, 1917 and duly authorised by the Registering officer to handle the boat. AS PER SECTION 27 (F) THE RULE, no passenger boat shall be propelled either by an outboard engine or a long tail or with similar devices unless it satisfies that It is provided with approved life buoys calculated at the rate of one for every 5 passengers with a minimum of two.

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