Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Monday conducted an aerial survey of the Kachhuluru area in East Godavari district where a boat capsized yesterday. The Chief Minister also asked the East Godavari district Collector Muralidhar Reddy to conduct an inquiry into the mishap.
The death toll in the mishap has increased to 12 with the recovery of four more bodies including an infant, officials said. A total of 21 more passengers are still missing while 27 people survived the tragedy. The survivors have been admitted to government hospitals at Rampachodavaram and Rajamahendravaram for treatment.
The search and rescue operation is underway and two helicopter — Indian Navy’s UH 3H helicopter and another of the ONGC — have been pressed into service to trace the missing persons from Devipatnam to Pollavaram. Chetak helicopter is also being used to conduct a search operation.
Two teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and SDRF (State Disaster Response Force) consist of about 30 members each have been sent from Visakhapatnam and Guntur for rescue and search operations. Eight boats of APTDC (Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation) have also been sent on the site.
Tragedy struck when the boat- Royal Vashishta, run by the APTDC, was on its way from Papikondalu to Devipatnam’s Gandi Pochamma Temple. The mishap occurred near Kachhuluru village. Papikondalu is one of the famous tourist sites near Rajahmundry.
According to reports, there were 61 people on board including 11 crew members. The mishap occurred days after 11 people drowned during an idol immersion ceremony to mark the end of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival in Madhya Pradesh’s Bhopal.
Reddy has also announced Rs 10 lakh ex-gratia each to the families of the deceased while the Chief Minister of neighbouring Telangana, K
Chandrasekhar Rao has announced compensation of Rs 5 lakh each to the bereaved families. Rao also deputed his ministers to coordinate in the relief works and help the injured.