Guwahati/Dhubri: The Assam government on Sunday said discrepancy in the number of passengers missing in the boat tragedy in Dhubri was because their relatives had not registered their names.

"Until relatives of passengers who are unaccounted do not register their names with the government, they cannot be put in missing list," government spokesman and Forest, Panchayat and Rural Development minister Rockybul Hussain said on Sunday.

There were 205 passengers with tickets in the ill-fated ferry that capsized in a storm at Medartary ghat on Monday and the government has already released names of 42 persons who have been registered as missing, he said replying to questions about the discrepancies in the number of those missing since the tragedy, considered one of the worst in the state.

"So far 38 bodies have been recovered, another 33 persons were injured and about 30 to 40 persons managed to swim safely to the shore after the mishap," he said.

Meanwhile, search operations at the tragedy site continued for the seventh day but no bodies were recovered, Dhubri SP Pradip Saloi said.

To prevent recurrence of such boat tragedies, Assam has sought a special assistance of Rs 365 crore from the Centre to develop infrastructure, including riverine transport facility, along river banks, Hussain said.

The fund, if sanctioned, would be utilised for buying new ferries, upgrading the ghats and other projects to improve connectivity in the riverine zone.

"The state government will also release Rs 10 crore for development of riverine areas in Dhubri district," he said.

Meanwhile, a large number of people attended the prayer meeting held in Guwahati during the day near the disaster site by the main opposition party in the state - All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), and Assam State Jamiat Ulema.

(Agencies)


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