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Patna : The state government may initiate action against the officials of the tourism department for the boat tragedy on January 14 in which 24 people were drowned to death in the Ganga while returning from Sabalpur diara (sandbar) after participating in the annual Kite festival organised by the department.
An indication to this effect was given on January 16 by CM Nitish Kumar who claimed he was not aware of the Kite Festival organised by the  tourism department on Makar Sankranti day. He said the tourism department did
not take approval of his secretariat either.

In an apparent move to initiate action against the tourism department officials, Nitish said he has instructed now no such programme would be organised without approval of the chief secretary. Talking to mediapersons at Sambad, CM’s office here, Nitish said he was himself surprised to see his photos in the advertisements in local newspapers which carried half page advertisements with an appeal to the people to visit Sambalpur diara (sandbar) across Ganga river. The department had promised free cruise services also. The CM said he was terribly shocked to learn about the tragedy.
Deputy chief minister Tejeshwi Yadav and tourism minister Anita Devi, who were also present at the press conference, claimed they too were not aware of the Kite festival, a government organised programme. Principal secretary of tourism department,Harjot Kaur, who was present at Kite festival said the boats which  drowned was
of the Bihar state tourism development corporation. Festival  was inaugurated by Tripurari Sharan, Member, Board of revenue.
The CM said he was informed by his secretariat at 7 pm, two hours after the boat tragedy.” If you consider, a crime has been committed by me, go and file an FIR against me,” he told the mediapersons who questioned delay
in dissemination of information.
Nitish said the two member officials committee of principal secretary, disaster management department, Prataya Amrit, and DIG, central range, Shalin would inquire into security lapses at Kite festival, use of private boats for the   visitors against promise of cruises of tourism department, use of boats after sunset. Action would be taken against the guilty officers, he assured.

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