One year for Andhra Pradesh boat tragedy, bitter memories still haunts Telugu states
It has been a year since for Vashishta boat carrying tourists sank in the Godavari near Papikondala at Kachuluru near Devipatnam
It has been a year since for Vashishta boat carrying tourists sank in the Godavari river near Papikondala at Kachuluru in Devipatnam mandal of East Godavari district. The bitter memories of accident still haunt the two Telugu states today. Since then, the government has put a full stop to Papikondalu tourism. It took 38 days to retrieve the sunken boat and with the help of Kachuluru tribals, 26 tourists survived and 46 people had died in the accident. The whereabouts of the five are still unknown.
According to the reports, the Royal Vashishta boat, which departed from Pochamma Gandi at 9.30 am on September 15 had turned it's direction to Papikondalu on reaching the Devipatnam police station after an altercation with the police over permission. At 1.48 pm it reached Kachchuluru Mandam wherein at the turn of the hill, the boat suddenly capsized in the Kachchuluru.
Navy and NDRF teams tried to retrieve the boat that sank in the Kachuluru mandam but the boat could not be traced despite the use of modern technology. The government took the boat extraction seriously and handed over the responsibility to the Balaji Marines Dharmadi Satyam team. Attempts to pull the sunken boat out of the Godavari with the help of iron rope and crane failed several times, and the story ended when private divers went to the bottom of the boat to tie the rope to the boat. District ministers and collectors have monitored the situation from time to time and authorities worked hard until the bodies of those died in the accident were retrieved and handed over to their relatives.
Meanwhile, Rs 10 lakh ex-gratia was given to the families of the dead, Rs 3 lakh to the injured and Rs 1 lakh to those who were slightly injured and survived without injuries by Andhra Pradesh government. The Telangana also government provided an additional Rs. 5 lakh to victims while the centre has given Rs 2 lakh. The Andhra Pradesh government has been alerted about the accident and launched a comprehensive inquiry into the accident by a committee which made some suggestions to prevent accidents in the future.