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Assam: After the Majuli mishap, new SOPs for river transport in the state

In the meeting it was decided 850 machine boats will be fitted with marine engines and the entire cost will be borne by the government.

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Guwahati: Days after the boat mishap of Majuli in Upper Assam, the state government on Monday announced a new standard operating procedure (SOPs) that will be followed in the inland water transport system in the state.

In a meeting with the senior officials of the Inland Water Transport department, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma apart from banning plying of single-engine machine boats also devised a new SOP which will be followed in the inland water transport system in the state.

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In the meeting it was decided 850 machine boats will be fitted with marine engines and the entire cost will be borne by the government.

It may be mentioned here that two people died after a head-on collision between two machine boats at Nimatighat in Majuli last Wednesday.

According to the new SOP, single-engine boats will not be allowed to ply on the river Brahmaputra.

Six ferries and two RO-pax boats will ply between Jorhat and Majuli. For smooth transport over the river during the winter season dredgers will be used.

The 19 private boats which were plying will only be allowed to carry passengers after they are fitted with a double engine.

Wearing of life vest has been made mandatory and a magistrate will be on vigil at Majuli and Jorhat ferry stations.

A safety audit will be carried out on each and every boat which will ply over the river Brahmaputra. A team of SDRF will be stationed at the ferry ghat at Jorhat and Majuli.

A vibrant communication network will be set up between the navigator of the boat and the officials at the ferry stations.

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