Godavari boat mishap: AP govt to give Rs 25k each to villagers who helped in rescue ops

The Andhra Pradesh state government on Friday announced Rs 25,000 reward for the villagers from Kachuluru of East Godavari who helped rescue 26 people from the ill-fated boat that capsized on the Godavari river in earlier this month. Even as the search operations are still on to recover those presumed dead and missing and on Friday evening, officials recovered one more body suspected to be that of a missing passenger, from Rajahmundry.

The boat, with 61 tourists, nine crew members and three singers, had overturned near Kuchuluru village on September 15 afternoon while it was on its way to the picturesque Papikonda hills. While 21 people went missing in the river which was in spate, over the weeks, officials have recovered nine bodies. The boat mishap has left 47 dead.

The Andhra Pradesh Agriculture Minister Kursala Kannababu announced that a Rs 25,000 reward would be awarded to the villagers involved in the rescue efforts. He has directed the East Godavari district officials to collect the details of those involved.

“The search is still going on. Around 26 people have been rescued by Kachuluru villagers who risked their lives for the rescue. The Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy appreciated their bravery and directed the district collector to get their details. The government has promised to give Rs 25,000 as a reward to these villagers,” said the minister.

The minister also sought public help to recover the boat that sank. "Government is trying its best to trace the boat. Some people are trying to politicise this incident. Even leaders like Chandrababu Naidu is also making inappropriate statements,” said Kannababu.

The minister pointed out that a government order released in 2018 concerning boat accidents define the respective departments work while addressing a boat accident but failed to mention how departments should coordinate.

In the meantime, a body washed ashore near Pottilanka in Kadinam mandal near Rajahmundry on Godavari river by Friday evening, reported Deccan Chronicle.

The newspaper reported that the decomposed body was found wearing a lifejacket and was in possession of a water bottle. Officials have taken the body to a government hospital and have informed the relatives of those people who are still reported missing. The week before, officials recovered three unidentified bodies from the river banks and their identities will be established after a DNA test.

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