Kendrapara, Nov 11 (LocalWire): Passenger ferry services from the remote river side villages within Bhitarkanika National Park and its nearby areas in Kendrapara district and in the neighbouring Bhadrak district have been suspended for the past 15 days due to non-allotment of funds by the government to purchase fuel.
Around 60,000 riverside villagers of Rajkanika and Rajnagar blocks of Kendrapara district and adjoining Chandbali block of Bhadrak district, including many tourists, have been facing problems after the authorities stopped inland water transport, said Girish Nayak of Talachu village.
“Some private boat owners are now charging Rs 2000-3000 to ferry tourists from Chandabali to Bhitarkanika whereas a tourist pays only Rs 30 to reach Bhitarkaika from Chandabali in the motor launch of the government managed Inland Water Transport Department.
Many villagers are also paying more to cross the crocodile infested river to reach Chandabali, Talachua and other places,” said Pradip Mandal of Rangani.
The water bodies in these areas are replete with more than 1700 saltwater crocodiles for which the villagers are reluctant to use small country boats, said Madan Pradhan of Iswarpur village.