KHAGARIA: There could be nothing more embarrassing to the Bihar government: families of at least four of the victims who met watery grave following a boat capsize during Durga Puja festivities have not got any ex gratia payment because the government cheques have bounced.
The tragic mishap in the Kareh river in Khagaria's Alauli block on September 29 had claimed 61 lives. While these many bodies were fished out, villagers claim at least 13 others, who were also aboard, are still missing.
As per the government announcement, cheques for Rs 1.5 lakh each victim were distributed among the bereaved families by Alauli officials.
While most of them had the cheques credited to their bank accounts, four of them have returned homes empty-handed as the local branch of Bank of Baroda refused to accept the cheques.
"All these cheques are of a government account which has no balance," a BoB official told TOI, preferring anonymity.
"We are being harassed for no fault of ours," Jagdish Singh of Fultora village said and added cheques of Dilip Mukhiya, Vakil Sah and Raghubir Sah of his village were also not accepted by the bank.
Khagaria DM Abhay Kumar Singh could not be contacted as he was away on leave and calls to his cellphone went unresponded on Monday evening.