Local divers in Punjab are upset that the new administration has not provided them with a stable source of income despite their claims that they have rescued numerous lives and pulled out hundreds of remains in the last ten years.
In the last ten years, they assert, “We must have saved over 100 lives and fished out over 500 bodies, yet the governments have failed to provide a job for us.”
The divers have established several clubs and are accessible 24 hours a day to assist the authorities and the families of the victims.
Around 50 divers work in the business of fishing out bodies in Patiala despite the lack of assistance and arrangements from the authorities. They demand anything between Rs 5,000 and Rs 50,000 each body.
There are no professional divers on rolls and no specific equipment for retrieving bodies from waterways.
“Since the government doesn’t pay us anything, we are helpless. We occasionally charge more because the bodies are in bad shape and we have trouble because of the swift river current. We have no insurance coverage for mishaps, fatalities, or other losses, said diver Raj Kumar.
According to information held by the district police, 80 dead have been found this year and 91 were pulled from waterways in 2021.
With the exception of a few bodies, the private divers have assisted authorities in retrieving the majority of the district’s bodies.
To have the dead fished out, people pay enormous sums of money.