On May 15, 19 people were killed after a boat was capsized, with around 50 people on board, while ferrying them across river Hooghly from Kalna in Burdwan to Shantipur.All the civic bodies including those in Burdwan had taken up stringent measures to enforce the recommendations of the state government to ensure safe journey of the passengers across rivers.
The action was taken after preliminary investigation had revealed that the attempt of some boatmen
to make fast money by violating the norms set by the state government to ferry passengers in motorised boats across a river had led to the incident.
The civic bodies have made it mandatory to maintain the carrying capacity (that is the number of people) of each and every boat.The capacity is being displayed properly on the vessels so that people stops getting onto the vessel once the capacity is full. Ticketing system to get a count on
the number of passengers being ferried in one trip is also introduced at present. Moreover, there are
sufficient numbers of life jackets in a boat.
In a bid to provide tickets to each and every passenger before getting onto the vessel, ticket counters at the transit points were being set up.According to a senior state government official,
this is an important and cheapest mode of transport and thousands of people avail the service everyday to go across the rivers to other districts.
Thus, civic bodies and police were asked to keep a watch and to carry out an inspection every week
to ensure none of the norms are violated.In all districts, mobile phone numbers of the concerned official of the respective civic bodies were also being displayed in boats and commuters can
call in those numbers to lodge a complaint.