Odisha: Day after Chilika boat capsize, focus on safety features

The 29 people, who were onboard the ill-fated boat on Saturday had promised a lump sum amount for a two-way journey for the entire group, said Bideshi Mallick, one of the boatmen.

By: PTI | Berhampur | Published:December 11, 2016 4:55 pm
Chilika, chilika lake boat accident, chilika lake news, chilika lake boat capsize, odisha, odisha news, odisha boat capsize, indian express, india news With a fishing boat ferrying picnickers capsizing in Chilika Lake that claimed four lives the day before, safety features in the country’s largest brackish water lagoon has come into the focus.

With a fishing boat ferrying picnickers capsizing in Chilika Lake that claimed four lives the day before, safety features in the country’s largest brackish water lagoon has come into the focus. Besides tourist boats, a large number of fishing boats operate from lakeside villages to ferry visitors to exotic locations inside the lagoon.

Such boats operate from jetties like Sabulia, Rambha, Barkul, Balugaon and Satapada. Tourists opt to use these boats since they charge less even if it means compromising on safety, said a tourist boat operator.

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“Since they don’t operate from regular jetties meant for tourists, we don’t have a say. Besides, since they are locals, we don’t want to create an atmosphere of hostility with them,” he said.

The 29 people, who were onboard the ill-fated boat on Saturday had promised a lump sum amount for a two-way journey for the entire group, said Bideshi Mallick, one of the boatmen.

“Apart from bargaining the price, many people prefer fishing boats because the smaller boats give them privacy unlike the bigger tourist boats. Moreover, while tourist boats have fixed timings, the fishing boats offer flexibility in timing,” said Piyush Pradhan, a tourist.

In terms of safety features “many boatmen are not properly trained leading to collisions between boats in middle of the lake,” said another tourist.

Around 1,200 tourist boats operate in the vast waterbody from different lakeside corners of Chilika in Ganjam district.

Assistant Director, Inland water transport (IWT), Balugaon, P K Das said Fisheries department issues licence to fishing boats.

“We will now launch an inquiry about the safety measures of different tourists boats operating in the Chilika,” Das said.

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  1. M
    M nationalist
    Dec 11, 2016 at 5:10 pm
    It is clear from this incident government people and government must have their lapses..w episode happened due to;lt;br/gt;....No specific rule have been made for local boatmen,which includes safety measures like license of boat and boatman,provisioning of adequate life jackets for tourists,patroling team who should act like water Ambulance to be ready for any untowards in chilka like this incident, etc..lt;br/gt;One more important thing is that govt should not give a blind eye to the fact that the first responders are to be well trained and to be eqiuped with suitable life saving equipments so that response should be in time to deal with such type of contingencies..lt;br/gt;..Govt should educate local boatmen how to deal with such emergencies to cause no or minimum loss to life in case of any incident happens in mid water..lt;br/gt;Emergency guidelines also to be prepared for both pengers and boat crews ..lt;br/gt;Consequently,govt might have satisfied with its response to last incident..actually credit goes to the local responders cause they have shown ready witness to avoid even a more Havoc..99%job was over before rescue team comes..what we saw is local responders were more active than govts'.Preparedness of govts first responders was very poor that they took around 45 mins to prepare their boat..this the status..so urge is govt should equip advanced devices to deal with such emergencies.... authorities have no value if they only come for media to show their face.
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