The RDC (northern Division) has submitted his probe report on Tuesday (29th April) on the Hirakud boat tragedy that took 31 lives of a picnic party after it capsized in the reservoir water on 9th February. In the probe report the RDC has recommended several suggestions to be taken in this direction to prevent such incident in future. though the RDC refused to divulge any thing about the report citing it ‘top secrete’, he said that after examining as many as 51 witnesses including the organizers, victims’ family members and boat men as well as officials from government, “I have prepared the report which is a step to avoid such incident in future”, Pramod Kumar Meherda, RDC (northern division) Sambalpur said . He informed that he has tabled the report before the government and it is now duty of the government to take care about the report and to implement the suggestions. “I have submitted the report before the government and it is now the government to take steps as per the report”, RDC Meherda said.
He informed as per the direction of the government he has examined cause of accident and who are the persons responsible for the accident and steps to check such mishap in future. However, sources closed to the RDC revealed that the 22 pages report of RDC has pointed finger on the organizers of the picnic party who without taking precautionary measures on the safety and security of their fellow members and their family took them inside the reservoir in the name of a picnic party. He also suggested in his report that boats carrying people should be equipped with life jackets and other safety materials. The RDC has also suggested the administration to ensure it by conducting regular checking.
It may be informed that the incident took place in the afternoon hour of 9th February when a power boat carrying a picnic party of Sambalpur lions club was capsized in the reservoir water. In the incident 31 people including 8 children and 13 females were killed. The picnickers were returning to Sambalpur on the boat after completing the picnic organized at Marang (an island type place located opposite side of the Hirakud reservoir). Since the boat was not reserved, there were 12 outsiders and about 10 bikes in the boat along with about 150 picnickers. Police had already arrested 4 persons including the president of the lions club Ramesh Agrawal and the state government has taking the issue seriously, directed RDC level probe.
However many questioned remained still unanswered. why the organizers took such a risk when there was no proper security measures and life jackets inside the boat? why the organizers did not try to save the life of children and women and took all attempt to save their own lives? why the organizers of the picnic party played with the lives of so many people? why they did not take step to provide a helping hands to the deceased family members who are totally helpless after losing their only income source ? why government remains silent over the report and did not initiate any steps regarding the implementation of the recommendation of the RDC in his report.