10-year analysis puts spotlight on boat capsizing deaths in Bihar | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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10-year analysis puts spotlight on boat capsizing deaths in Bihar

By, New Delhi
Sep 16, 2023 05:03 AM IST

Between 2012 and 2021, Bihar accounted for 12.2% of all deaths in incidents involving capsizing of boats

Even as rescue operations continue after a boat carrying 30 people, including 15 school students, capsized in the Bagmati river in Muzaffarpur on Thursday morning, data shows that Bihar has consistently ranked high among Indian states over the last decade for deaths in such incidents.

Search operation continues on the banks of Bagmati river. (HT)
Search operation continues on the banks of Bagmati river. (HT)

Read here: Six school girls among 12 missing as boat capsizes in Muzaffarpur

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In the last 10 years for which data is available, Uttar Pradesh topped the list for deaths caused by boats capsizing with 441 deaths, followed by Bihar with 421 deaths, Madhya Pradesh with 361 deaths, and Odisha with 339 deaths, shows an HT analysis of National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data.

Between 2012 and 2021, Bihar accounted for 12.2% of all deaths in incidents involving capsizing of boats, and is ranked second in both 2021 and 2020 for such death tolls after Odisha (79 deaths) in 2021 and Uttar Pradesh (69 deaths) in 2020. It ranked third in number of death tolls in the years 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, and 2014, shows data.

Overall, NCRB data on accidental deaths and suicides show that over the 10-year period analysed for this report, a total of 3,457 people died in accidents of drowning related to boat accidents. In terms of tallies by the year, 2012 when 685 people died was the most fatal, followed by 585 deaths in 2013. A total of 259 persons people lost their lives in 2021, the last year for which data is available.

In terms of total boat accidents, NCRB data shows Uttar Pradesh topping the lost with 410, followed again by Bihar in second with 340 accidents. Odisha had the highest death per capita of the population in 2021, followed by Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Bihar.

Uttar Pradesh ranks eighth in terms of per capita death. This is because Uttar Pradesh has highest population share among the states while total number of deaths is not significantly different from that of Bihar whose population is much smaller than Uttar Pradesh.

To be sure, experts pointed out that several geographical factors can influence the frequency of such incidents such as prevalence of water bodies, presence of flood zones, among others.

Read here: Muzaffarpur boat mishap: Three bodies fished out, say officials

DM Diwakar, former director of the AN Sinha Institute of Social Studies said that Bihar’s ranking high in such incidents highlighted fundamental development-related issues in the state. “Bihar has a higher number of flood zones, and that is perhaps why it has more mishaps, but that cannot be an excuse. It is also true that many steps have been taken in these years, but basic aspects remain unfulfilled. These incidents are a clear indication and more attention and preventive steps are required,” Diwakar said.

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