Shillong: The District Magistrate, East Jaintia Hills District has informed that many cases of fatal accidents and drowning have occurred in different rivers, streams of the district from time to time while people are engaged on trekking, fishing, sports, festivals commuting to their cultivated land etc., fatal accidents, drowning have also been reported to have occurred to children, youth in ponds, coal mine shafts left abandoned, water bodies formed due to mining etc., adding that the causes of the above fatal accidents are often attributed to non availability of life jackets to be worn by all concerned while travelling on homemade boats, canoe in different rivers for various activities and also the causes of the above fatal accidents have also been attributed to lack of proper barricade, fencing, railing etc of the abandoned coal mine shafts, water bodies form due to mining etc.
The District Administration after considering the valuable inputs and views offered by concerned citizens, NGOs, officials of different Government departments etc. and therefore to prevent such occurrences and to ensure safety to all citizens, the District Magistrate, East Jaintia Hills District has promulgated an order under section 144 CrPC prohibited all Tourism Societies, Village authorities, Government departments to run Boat Tour/ Services for Tourists, individuals on official duties or leisure activities without providing life jackets to each individual person/ Tourist etc before boarding the boat.
The order stated that boat owners who are individual/ Societies/ Government departments who either owned or hire boats should have sufficient life jackets and boat men should be qualified/experienced to guide passengers on safety measures.
The order also stated that abandoned coal mine shafts, water bodies formed due to mining activities should be properly fenced by land owners and village authorities should disseminate the instruction in their own village and instruct land owners, coal miners to properly fence the coal mine shafts within their respective jurisdiction, besides Elaka authorities are also to disseminate similar instruction to their subjects on safety measures as mentioned above. The order also prohibited swimming on high running water, accumulated ponds, water bodies and similar instruction should be issued by every village authorities.
The order shall come into force with immediate effect and until further order.