The Godavari river has been in spate for the past few days and more than 5.1 lakh cusecs of floodwater were flowing when the tragedy took place.
At least eleven people died in the incident where a tourist boat carrying 61 capsized in Godavari river in Devipatnam, East Godavari district. News agency ANI reports that chief minister Jagan Mohan Reddy has announced Rs 10 lakh ex-gratia each to the families of the deceased. Ten people have been rescued so far and the operation to trace others is underway.
The details of the incident are still not available. The mishap took place just days after 11 people were drowned during an idol immersion at the end of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival. The Godavari river has been in spate for the past few days and more than 5.1 lakh cusecs of floodwater were flowing when the tragedy took place.
Speaking to news agency PTI, East Godavari SP Adnan Nayeem said, “We are trying to ascertain the details.” The boat – Royal Vashishta, run by Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC), was on its way from Papikondalu to Devipatnam’s Gandi Pochamma Temple. The mishap occurred near Kachhuluru village. Papikondalu is one of the famous tourist sites near Rajahmundry.
State Chief Secretary LV Subrahmanyam spoke to the district administration and took stock of the situation. Subrahmanyam also directed the officials to press a helicopter into service so that the victims could be traced.
Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy also spoke to the officials and asked them to take up rescue operations on an urgent basis. He also directed MLAs and local leaders to visit the accident site.
Two teams of National Disaster Response Force have been sent from Visakhapatnam and Guntur for rescue and search operations. Two boats of APTDC have also been sent on the site. Former Chief Minister and TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu expressed shock over the mishap and asked the state administration to take up effective steps.