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Capsizing boats

The boat capsizing incidents in the Indus River have been reported in the near and in one such incident as many as 50 women and children died as an overloaded boat toppled over in the Indus River near Machka, Rahim Yar Khan. Rescue operations were still going on.

This is a depressing example of how regulation and awareness about safety protocols are regularly neglected in Pakistan, resulting in avoidable deaths every year.

The overcrowded vessel was carrying around 100 passengers when it capsised Monday on the storm-swollen Indus River in Sadiqabad, central Punjab province.

One of the boatmen lost control as a result of the overcrowding and it overturned, drowning 50 women and two children. Other guests were busy fighting for their lives and could not save them either.

This unfortunate incident speaks volumes about our people’s attitude towards safety protocols and reflects a severe lack of oversight on part of the authorities. The boatman was already struggling to keep the boat afloat during the high tide which enables water to flow at high speeds. The overloading made manoeuvring much harder and cost lives.

The responsibility here for this avoidable tragedy falls on the shoulders of all those involved, the boatman, the passengers, and the state for not mandating any sort of awareness or limiting controls on private boats for hire.

Furthermore, during high tides and in weather that has proved to be dangerous for the public time and time again, authorities must patrol crossing points to ensure that boatmen take all the steps required to facilitate safe travel so that such tragedies can be avoided and lives of the masses can be saved.

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