Bhubaneswar, Feb 10:
Former Minister and senior Congress leader Niranjan Patnaik has condoled the unfortunate loss of many lives after a boat capsized in the Hirakud reservoir on Sunday.
“The Lions community and families, who have been helping the people of the state, need all our sympathies and support at this juncture,” Patnaik said in a statement issued here today.
In a letter written to the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, the former PCC president has called for a comprehensive legislation so that standards are laid down and liabilities for violation of safety norms are clearly established.
In his letter Niranjan has said, “In any system of modern governance, there must be a strong regulatory framework for in-land waterways for the safety of the people. How and why are boats without adequate safety jackets, trained crew, communication back-up etc being allowed to carry passengers? Who is responsible for such tragic loss of life?” Patnaik asked in his letter.
Making a strong case for setting up a department of in-land waterways to regulate boats and ferries used across the many rivers, lakes, reservoir and other water bodies for transporting passengers, the senior Congress leader said; “Unless a boat meets safety requirements, it should not be allowed to carry passengers.”
“I hope that the state government will learn from the unfortunate tragedy in Hirakud and make a serious effort to prevent recurrence of these events in the future.”