GUWAHATI, Sept 6 - State Transport Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary has suspended four officials of the Inland Water Transport (IWT) Department after a country boat capsized in the river Brahmputra on Wednesday leading to the death of two persons on board so far.
The suspended officers include Vikramaditya Choudhury, Executive Engineer, Purnananda Das, Guwahati Ferry Ghat in-charge, and two Section Officers in Dharmeswar Baishya and Jagadish Das.
The Minister stated that plying of mechanized country boats (bhutbhuti) between North Guwahati and Guwahati on the Brahmaputra River has already been suspended since yesterday. This order will remain effective during the entire rainy season.
The Minister said that ten additional buses of ASTC have been already introduced to and fro North Guwahati � Guwahati to cater to the need of the people residing in North Guwahati.
�Three new vessels for ferry service between North Guwahati and Guwahati will be introduced this month for public convenience�, stated Patowary.
The Minister also mentioned that the Transport Department is ready with a draft bill for constitution of a Regulatory Authority.
He said that �Assam Inland Water Transport Reorganization Act� will be placed before the Assam Legislative Assembly during the forthcoming session for approval.
The Bill will lead to the independent and strict regulation of the safety and enforcement measures related to ferry service in the rivers of the State including the Brahmaputra and the Barak.
Henceforth, registration, timely renewal of registration and fitness certification will be mandatory for all vessels and boats operating in the rivers of the State.
To restructure the IWT for better and effective public service, three bodies namely Regulatory Authority, Assam Shipping Company and Assam Port Company will be constituted under the �Assam Inland Water Transport Reorganization Act� for management of the respective sectors.