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IWT lapses exposed as ferry sinks in Brahmaputra

By Staff Reporter
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GUWAHATI, May 22 - The Inland Water Transport Department has sought help from the Inland Waterways Authority of India to retrieve a ferry that had sunk at the Amingaon dock recently, even as lapses on the part of the department have come to the fore.

SDB Hansraj � a 26-metre-long ferry � had sunk in the river on May 4. IWT officials blame storm and the surging waters for the incident.

But insiders admit there were lapses on the part of monitoring, which caused a huge loss to the State exchequer. Questions are being raised as to why the ship was not anchored.

�Waters are receding now and some portions of the ferry can be seen now. We have also sought help from the IWAI to retrieve it,� an IWT official said.

The wooden ferry was made in 2013-14 and was plying on the Pandu-Amingaon route. Lakhs were spent on its repairs in 2018. However, it was not in service. It has two engines of 32 horse power.

Now, even if the ferry is retrieved, there are doubts if it would be able to operate again.

�It is very likely that the wood would be damaged after remaining under water for so long. However, some portions like the steering and the engines can be repaired, depending on the extent of damage,� an official said.

Around 25,000 to 30,000 people ply on the Brahmaputra river route in the city daily. The number of private vessels is around 150. The IWT operates some 17 vessels currently.

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IWT lapses exposed as ferry sinks in Brahmaputra

GUWAHATI, May 22 - The Inland Water Transport Department has sought help from the Inland Waterways Authority of India to retrieve a ferry that had sunk at the Amingaon dock recently, even as lapses on the part of the department have come to the fore.

SDB Hansraj � a 26-metre-long ferry � had sunk in the river on May 4. IWT officials blame storm and the surging waters for the incident.

But insiders admit there were lapses on the part of monitoring, which caused a huge loss to the State exchequer. Questions are being raised as to why the ship was not anchored.

�Waters are receding now and some portions of the ferry can be seen now. We have also sought help from the IWAI to retrieve it,� an IWT official said.

The wooden ferry was made in 2013-14 and was plying on the Pandu-Amingaon route. Lakhs were spent on its repairs in 2018. However, it was not in service. It has two engines of 32 horse power.

Now, even if the ferry is retrieved, there are doubts if it would be able to operate again.

�It is very likely that the wood would be damaged after remaining under water for so long. However, some portions like the steering and the engines can be repaired, depending on the extent of damage,� an official said.

Around 25,000 to 30,000 people ply on the Brahmaputra river route in the city daily. The number of private vessels is around 150. The IWT operates some 17 vessels currently.

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