PM Narendra Modi too expressed grief over the accident and announced compensation of Rs 2 lakh for the victim’s family.
Patna: As the state mourned the death of those who died in the tragic boat accident in Ganga river on Sunday, the Opposition demanded strict action against officials for lapses in the tragic incident which led to the killing of at least 24 persons on Saturday.
Senior BJP leaders Sushil Kumar Modi and Union minister Ram Kripal Yadav, who visited the accident site, said that arrangements made for the kite flying festival was poor and asked the chief minister to “take responsibility and resign on moral grounds”.
“He took credit for the Prakash Utsav and Kalachakra puja in Bihar and now he must also accept the failure which led to the killing of so many innocent people who had gone to celebrate Makar Sankranti festival,” Mr Sushil Modi said.
Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar later chaired a high-level meeting with administrative officials and directed them to “fix responsibility and initiate action”. Prime Minister Narendra Modi too expressed grief over the accident and announced compensation of Rs 2 lakh for the victim’s family.
According to district administration, FIR against one of the boat operators who had survived in the accident and the owner of an amusement park has been registered. A video footage showed that there were two overcrowded boats which had capsized in the river while bringing people back from the kite flying festival.
Mr Sushil Modi, while pointing out at the ill arrangements and administrative lapses, said “when the government could make events like Prakash Parv and Kalachakra successful by spending Rs 200 crore why the Makar Sankranti festival was ignored. The government didn’t invest much for the event which was being celebrated by the poor people”. ‘
A large number of people, including women and children, had gone to Sabalpur Diara on the banks of the Ganga river to attend the kite-flying festival which was organised by the state tourism department on the occasion of Makar Sankranti on Saturday.
Eyewitnesses told this newspaper that they couldn’t find enough boats to return back to Patna on Saturday after the event was over and also complained of being stuck at Sabalpur Diara and the poor arrangements made by the administration before the accident.
“People couldn’t find many boats to return which forced them especially youths to jump on the available boats,” an eyewitness said.