Boat tragedy

The seeds of evil bloom in the fields of negligence

August 19, 2020

One can only mourn for the 10 picnickers who drowned after a motorboat sank in Keenjhar Lake in Thatta district on Monday, and hope that no more lives are lost at recreational spots in future. The unfortunate 10 went there to refresh themselves and to get away from the heat and dust of an overcrowded city, but they walked into the valley of death. These priceless lives would have been saved but for the lack of safety equipment. Now it is difficult to pin blame on anyone. The Sindh CM has ordered a ‘transparent investigation’ of the boat tragedy and told officials to take steps to stop occurrence of such tragic happenings in future. Let us wait for the inquiry report and hope for improved safety measures at recreational spots.

The provincial government has placed a ban on boating after the accident till fitness of boats and availability of life safety equipment are ensured. The tragedy apparently occurred due to negligence on the part of the boatman and the officials responsible for ensuring safety measures at the lake. The boat was rickety; it was overloaded; and life jackets and other safety equipment were not provided in the boat for emergency situations. A string of incidents involving capsizing of boats and loss of human lives has occurred in recent years at recreational spots in the province mainly because of boats unfit for travelling, absence of life-saving equipment in the boat and the lack of proper official supervision of boats and water bodies.

In view of the increasing boat accidents people should avoid travelling in boats for the sake of their own lives. Prevention is always better than cure. Visitors to Keenjhar Lake often complain that that they are not provided with life jackets either by the boatmen or by the administration; most of the boats are rickety and are more often than not overloaded. The seeds of evil bloom in the fields of negligence.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 20th, 2020.

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