NORTH LAKHIMPUR, Sept 26 - A person was drowned in Dikrong river near Bihpuria in Lakhimpur when a fishing boat capsized last night with four persons.
Four fishermen from Gnadhiya in Bihpuria had ventured out for fishing on the river last night in a small hand-oared
boat under inclement weather conditions. After fishing for more than four hours, the fishermen headed for the shore when the mishap occurred. All the four fisherman fell into the swollen river in rain as the boat got upside down in the middle of the river. Though three of them could save their lives by swimming ashore, one was swept away by the speedy currents of Dikrong.
The drowned fisherman has been identified as Chirantan Mallah. Today, a team of SDRF from North Lakhimpur carried search operations on the river to retrieve the body of the drowned person. However, their operation has been unsuccessful till the filing of this report.
The accident happened just three days after a similar mishap involving a passenger boat on Subansiri in Lakhimpur district. On Sunday evening, a tragedy was averted in Lakhimpur�s Ghagar area with the rescue of all the passengers of a ferry in Subansiri river following the failure of its engine. The incident occurred at Ghagar Inland Water Transport ghat at 6 pm when a ferry carrying 88 passengers and dozens of two wheelers from Ghagar to Ghunasuti were swept away by the current of Subansiri river as its engine broke down midway. The ferry was carried away several miles up to Balibheta causing panic on either side of the river. Torrential rain and darkness prevented rescue operations for several hours as personnel from State Disaster Response Force were rushed to the IWT ghat. Finally all the passengers of the stranded ferry were rescued safely after several hours late in the evening.
The incident once again has exposed the sorry state of affairs of the boats that ferry passengers at IWT ghats in Lakhimpur. As earlier reported, most of the boats do not have proper maintenance and safety measures for the passengers while their operators run them indiscriminately thanks to the indifference by the concerned departments.