Berhampur, Feb 5 (LocalWire) The crackdown on illegal boating launched by the Khurda district administration on Tuesday after a fishing boat carrying passengers capsized in the Chilika Lake causing injuries to seven people last Sunday continued on Wednesday, officials said.
A task force constituted by the Khurda district administration with involving the officers of Fishery (marine), Tahasil, Inland Water Transport (IWT), Chilka Development Authority (CDA) and police are verifying documents of all the boats at Chandraput.
During the raids, they found some fishing boats were attempting to carry passengers towards Kalijai.
“We have searched the documents of as many as 160 fishing boats. Almost all of them possess valid documents. Of them, five lacked fitness, while the owners of 13 boats did not turn up to show their documents.
We will wait for some days to rectify their vehicles,” said the District Fishery Officer (marine), Khetrabashi Behera.
Sources told LocalWire that over 500 boats, including fishing and passenger vessels are operating in Balugaon and Chandraput.
The task force is likely to verify all these passenger and tourist boats.
Most of the visitors prefer going to the Kalijai temple, the Nalabana Bird Sanctuary, and the Chadeihaga Hill, a picturesque place inside the blue-lagoon from Balugaon.
Besides this, the passenger boats also operate from Barkul, Rambha, Satapada and some other places to ferry the passengers which count to around 250 boats in total.
“After the boat tragedy in the lake in the month of June in which six people died, we have asked the passengers to wear life-jackets before boarding the boat,” said Basant Nayak, the Former President of the Maa Kalijai Motorboat Owners’ Association.
During the raids, the police is likely to verify the availability of life jackets, registration and fitness of the passenger boats.
Edited by Meenal Singh