Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Sambalpur, Mar 27:
While the ferry services in Odisha’s Hirakud reservoir resuming on Wednesday, 45 days after the tragic boat mishap in which 31 passengers had met a watery grave on February 9, the Revenue Divisional Commissioner (RDC) Northern Division Dr Pramod Kumar Meherda, will be submitting his probe report on the cause of the tragedy and remedial measures to the state government by April 19 next.
The ferry services began in the reservoir from Tilia ghat at Jharsuguda with two motorboats operating.
While the executive magistrate had recorded the statements of 24 persons on Tuesday, the statements of 14 others including chief engineer, Upper Mahanadi Basin Biswajit Mohanty, superintending engineer, Hirakud Dam zone Rabindra Kumar Panda, executive engineer, Hirakud Main Dam Yashowant Parida, boatman of the rescue motorboat Shyam Kumar Nayak and assistant boatmen Ghanashyam Munda and Madhusudan Munda and the owner of the sunken motorboat were recorded yesterday.
In his statement, boatman of the rescue motorboat Shyam Kumar Nayak said he had called the boatman of the ill-fated motorboat with his mobile phone after it stopped moving.
“After being informed that the motorboat has started sinking, I asked the passengers of my motorboat to get down along with their vehicles and rushed towards the sinking motorboat and rescued 45 passengers from it. Besides, one of my other boats also managed to rescue 35 passengers” Nayak added.
The statement of the senior district officials including the collector, SP and others, who were monitoring the rescue work, would be recorded this afternoon, the RDC said.
“However, resumption of services from other ghats in Sambalpur is likely from the second week of April”, said RN Mohanty, executive engineer (mechanical), Hirakud dam, who has been entrusted with the survey work to determine the waterway for safe ferrying of boats in the reservoir.