The deaths of two teenagers was an accident and rowing will resume soon at the Rabindra Sarobar, said officials of the rowing clubs around the lake.
But before that, members of all three clubs — Calcutta Rowing Club, Bengal Rowing Club and Lake Club — are expected to meet in a day or two to decide on safety measures.
They will write a letter to Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority, the custodian of the 192-acre water body, in a day or two, seeking permission to keep a speedboat ready for use in emergency situations like that on Saturday, said an official of a club.
Citing an order by the National Green Tribunal, the KMDA had banned the use of motorised diesel or petrol-run speedboats in the lake.
“We will write to the KMDA in a couple of days. We will ask for permission to allow speedboats. Saturday's accident showed the importance of speedboats in rowing,” said Debabrata Dutta, joint secretary of the Lake Club.
The officials of the clubs said that in the history of rowing in the lake, Saturday’s accident has no precedent.
“Rowing in the lake started nearly 100 years ago, in 1928. It is difficult to find an accomplished rower whose boat has never toppled. But at the same time, according to my knowledge, this accident (drowning of a rower) has no precedent. This was an extremely unfortunate accident. But the sport must go on, of course with safety precautions,” said Chandan Roy Chowdhury, secretary, Calcutta Rowing Club and a veteran in the city’s rowing fraternity.
The finals of the ongoing school championship at Bengal Rowing Club has been “postponed till further notice”.
Souradeep Chatterjee and Pushan Sadhukhan were members of the South Point team that had made it to the finals of the cox fours in the Under-15 category.
There is no plan to keep rowing on hold, said officials of the club.
“On Monday, we will take a call on when to resume rowing in the lake. Rowing will certainly not stop,” said an official, who requested anonymity.
Police said allowing or disallowing rowing in the lake was outside their jurisdiction. “We cannot take a call on that,” said an officer at Lalbazar.
An official of the KMDA said: “We will decide the next course of action on Monday.”