Boat tragedy trauma lingers

KAPILVASTU: Manasadevi Kasaudhan of Maharajgunj has been in tears for the last four years ever since she lost her six family members in a tragic incident when a boat capsized in Banganga. She often falls unconscious as the tragedy flashes in her memory. Manasadevi lost her husband among other family members and the bodies of her mother-in-law and a niece have not been found yet.

Similarly, Radhechandra Biswakarma of Chotaki Taulihawa has also the same story. He lost five family members including his brother and sister in the same accident. According to the record at the District Administration Office, eighty-one people lost their lives in the accident while fifty others went missing. A committee formed to probe into the accident reported that the accident occurred due to the overload in the boat.

After getting off the boat at the place of the dreadful incident today Narmada Gupta of Maharagunj said,” I feel as if I got a new life after crossing the river using this boat.”

There is only one boat with the capacity of fifty persons at a time as a means to cross the river. People are compelled to use the same risky option as they have no other way left. According to Bhisma Mallaha, a boat entrepreneur, about 1000 to 2000 people cross the river using this boat daily.

The denizens of the district are planning to commemorate the accident organising various programmes for three days in the riverbank. Local Arjun Belbase informed that they would also launch an awareness programme among locals to prevent such accidents.

There has been some respite for the locals. A bridge is being constructed across the Banganga. The estimated budget for the project is eight crore rupees.

The length of the bridge will be 190 metres.