Kendrapara, November 18 (LocalWire): In a chance discovery, workers digging river Bramahani near Chaudakulat village under Pattamundai block to collect sand found the wreckage of an old motor launch boat on Sunday.
Later, the villagers joined in to clear the sand around the wreckage and recovered part of the over 50-foot-long motor launch, a local from Chaudakulat, Jagannath Das said.
“Efforts are being made to resurrect the century-old launch boat safely,” sources said, adding that the locals and workers were able to clear the upper layer of sand using pickaxes, small crowbars, and iron rods.
After the discovery of the remains of an iron-made motor launch boat, the workers stopped the digging work as hundreds of curious villagers gathered to see the wreckage.
Experts like Dr. Sunil Patnaik, secretary, Odisha Institute of Maritime and Southeast Asian Studies, believe that the motor launch may be of the British era.
“We suspect that the motor launch sank during the Raj period in any cyclone or storm,” He said, adding that, “We will soon examine the site of the ancient boat, found under the sand in the river and chalk out a technical strategy for the salvation of the launch.”
Experts also point out that river Bramahani was famous for navigation during the Raj period and ports in Balasore, Chandabali, Chhauna, Churamani, Dhamara, and False Point had trade contacts with the Britishers.
Dhamara, about 30 kilometers from Chaudakulat was declared a port in 1858 and is situated on the banks of estuaries of the Baitarani and Bramahani rivers, while Chandabali port on the bank of river Baitrani in Bhadrak district was established in 1872.
Throughout the 19th century, salt was exported from Chandabali and almost 60 percent of the total trade and commerce between Odisha and Calcutta was carried out from the port.
Besides, the port at False Point in Kendrapara district had trade contacts with many countries and regular shipping between these ports and False Point contributed significantly to the maritime trade of Odisha.
Experts also point out that in the latter part of the 19th century many ports in Odisha including False Point became defunct due to siltation and the deposition of sand in the harbour areas.