West Godavari district: Expressing his shock and grief over the boat mishap in River Godavari which claimed over 40 lives, YSR Congress President YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has said that the Chandrababu Naidu government should own up responsibility for the deaths as it has been allowing unlicensed steam boats to ferry passengers despite public outcry.
Speaking to reporters at Ramaraogudem here on Wednesday as part of the Praja Sankalpa Yatra, the Leader of Opposition has said, the governments indifference has led to the three boat mishaps in a space of six months as the boats were allowed to ferry passengers illegally and everyone from the top leadership to down the cadre is involved in taking bribes.
The boat capsize has come close on the heels of another incident where the steam boat caught fire and the passengers had a lucky escape as it was near the shore. Earlier, in Krishna River there was a boat mishap in which nearly 30 persons had died and the incident took place very close to the Chief Ministers residence.
As the kickbacks were coming regularly, no case was pursued and the name-sake inquiries keep dragging on and on. The government should take the blame, for the mishap and own up the human loss as it has miserably failed in regulating the steam boats, he said.
The kin of the deceased should be paid an ex-gratia of Rs 25 lakh each. The government has not been implementing the safety measures nor has been regulating the boat services but allowing them to ferry passengers even without licenses.
During Godavari Pushkarams, Chandrababu Naidus craze for film shooting had claimed 29 innocent lives and the inquiry report became a farce as it was being prolonged like a soap opera, he said.
We have done our part as Opposition Party and our cadre and leaders were on the forefront for rescue operations. The boats have capsized in Godavari and on earlier occasion at Krishna due to the negligence on part of the government and the Chief Minister should own up the responsibility, he said.