BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, February 1: The Kamrup administration has confirmed the existence of a submerged ‘ship–like’ structure on the Brahmaputra bed at Bamundi near Sualkuchi. It has drawn up a plan to first examine the wreckage and then fish it out carefully, to ensure that no damage is done.
Kamrup Deputy Commissioner Dr J Balaji, who visited the site today, said he noticed the ‘metallic structure’ that looked like the front portion of a boat upon the river bed. “The size of the structure is that of an SUV. But we cannot make out exactly what it is from the surface,” he said.
Due to receding water level, a rock with a cement pillar has got exposed. “Perhaps, it was built by the British for vigation purpose. After a long time, these structures are now getting exposed,” the DC said.
The location is said to be very rocky and normally ships avoid that area. The administration believes that shipwrecks could have occurred in that place due to the peculiar rocky topography.
“We are now planning to get an underwater camera. We will ask the NDRF to examine the structure on the river bed and get some pictures. Later, we plan to ask workers of Gammon India to fish it out,” Balaji said.
According to the team, the objects on the river bed are not distinctly visible from the surface.
Villagers in Sualkuchi, who stumbled upon the wreckage while fishing, claimed that it was that of a British cargo ship that sank in 1943.
“We cannot confirm now if it is the same ship or any other trawler. Unless we see and examine it, we cannot say anything about its significance,” the DC said.
Locals have told the administration team that some parts of the wreckage were fished out by local divers. “They were charcoal–type bars,” he said.
Villagers said that the ship – med Vulture – had sunk in the river in 1943. It was carrying commodities like salt and turmeric. “As it was a cargo ship, not many people were killed in the mishap,” a villager elder said. The villagers had even organized a ceremony two days back commemorating those who had lost their lives in the mishap.