Update: FIR lodged against boat operator in Sonpur Police Station.
Patna: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday sanctioned Rs 2 lakh each to the next of kin of those killed in Patna boat tragedy from the PM National Relief Fund.
Those seriously injured will be given Rs 50,000 each, the PMO said. Last night, while condoling loss of lives, the PM has postponed his programme scheduled for today in Patna.”PM expressed grief on the loss of lives caused by the boat tragedy in Bihar. He extended condolences to the bereaved families,” the Prime Minister’s Office tweeted last night.
In the wake of the tragedy, a programme to mark the start of redevelopment work of Mahatma Gandhi Setu in Patna which he was to address today via video conferencing was also postponed, the PMO said.
The State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) and National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) have been pressed into service for rescue operations.
The incident occurred when people were returning from a kite-flying event, which was organised across the river by the state government’s tourism department on Makar Sankranti on Saturday.
Eyewitnesses told this newspaper that when the incident occurred in the evening, no police or security personnel was there to monitor the event. “The kite flying event was organised on the other side of the Ghat where there was very less security. The incident occurred when the overcrowded boat was about to reach the NIT Ghat,” an eyewitness said.
Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar has ordered a probe into the incident and directed the officials to intensify search and rescue operations. “This is a tragic incident and I have asked officials to intensify search and rescue operations,” he said.
The chief minister Nitish Kumar also announced an exgratia of Rs 4 lakh for the family of those who died in the incident. Patna district magistrate Sanjay Agarwal and SSP Manu Maharaj also visited the site.