Over three dozen people, mostly women and children, are feared drowned after an overloaded boat capsized in flood-hit Bihar on Thursday, an official said.
The boat with a capacity of 25 persons was carrying over 40 people in Sheikhpura district about 125 km from here when it overturned. "Only two boatmen managed to swim and survived," an official of the district administration, requesting anonymity, said.
The boat carrying villagers was on its way to immerse idols of Hindu God Shiva and Goddess Parvati to mark a local Karma festival. The district administration had then rushed a rescue team to the spot where the boat capsized. So far only one body has been recovered.
Taking the report seriously, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has announced compensation of Rs.150,000 each to the kin of victims. "The announcement of compensation by Nitish Kumar made it clear that many are feared dead," the official added.