Removal of Obstructions and Similar Hazards in Navigation
44A. Raising of or removal of wreck impeding navigation, etc .-
(1) If any mechanically propelled vessel or other vessel is wrecked, stranded or sunk in any inland water is or is likely to become obstruction, impediment or danger to the safe and convenient navigation or use of inland water or the landing place or embarkment or part thereof, any officer empowered by the State Government by notification in the Official Gazette in this behalf (hereafter in this Chapter referred to as competent officer) shall cause the vessel to be raised, removed, blown up or otherwise destroyed as the circumstances may warrant.
(2) If any property recovered by a competent officer acting under sub-section (1) is unclaimed or the person claiming it fails to pay reasonable expenses incurred by the competent officer under that sub-section and a further sum of twenty-five per cent. of the amount of such expenses, the competent officer may sell the property by public auction, if the property is of a perishable nature, forthwith, and if it is not of a perishable nature, at any time not less than two months after the recovery thereof.
(3) The expenses and further sum aforesaid shall be payable to the competent officer out of the sale proceeds of the property, and the balance shall be paid to the person entitled to the property recovered, or, if no such person appears and claims the balance, shall be held in deposit for payment, without interest, to the person thereafter establishing his right thereto: Provided that the person makes his claim within three years from the date of the sale.
(4) Where the sale proceeds of the property arc not sufficient to meet the expenses and further sum aforesaid, the owner of the vessel at the time the vessel was wrecked, stranded or sunk shall be liable to pay the deficiency to the competent officer on demand, and if t he deficiency be not paid within one month of such demand, the competent officer may recover the deficiency from such owner as if it were an arrear of land revenue.