After the Assam government banned plying of bhut-bhutis or local motorised country boats in the entire river system of the state that came into effect from September 10, Transport Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary has made wearing of live jackets by each passenger while boarding the mechanized boat mandatory.

He further instructed the Deputy Commissioners to conduct safety audit of the ferry vessels within their respective districts. The Transport minister also directed capacity building of Inland Water Transport staff and said that other stakeholders must be enhanced on a war-footing.

Moreover, Patowary admitted that adequate attention on fleet modernization was not given in the past, due to which the bhut-bhutis operating both under the IWT and private operators were not under proper condition.

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