Vijayawada: 20 devotees die in man made disaster at the scared confluence

Godavari water travel through 174 Kms long canal and meet the Krishna Waters at Pavitra Sangam, a point of confluence in Vijayawada. A week long special puja has been organised by Durga Temple authorities’ at pavitra sangam. Sunday being holiday there was heavy rush of devotees to travel to the point of pavitra sangam.
Devotees numbering 38 embarked a tourist boat at Punnami Ghat and the fateful boat capsized a few meters away from the point of confluence. In this accident more than 16 people died. The NDRF 10th Battalion and the police forces took over the rescue operations.
The boat said to have capsized as it hit sand dune in the river. The boat of this type have knife shaped edge which help to cut through the sand dunes during its navigation. This fateful boat does posses any such vital apparatus.
It is understood that the tourism department is allowing the unauthorised operators of boats. These boats do not confirm to safety standards and have no safety equipment like life jackets. None of victims of Sunday tragedy had life jacket.
Many people gathered at the place of accident and started raising slogans against the Government for their negligence and careleness towards safety of devotees.
Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu visited the accident spot and hospitals where the victims are treated. He announced Rs.10 lakh ex-gratia to the kin of the deceased. During the assembly session, Chandrababu Naidu, said that the incident occurred due to unauthorised operation and also ‘greed of the operator to make money’.