Kendrapara, July 1 (LocalWire): The Govari river mouth in Kendrapara district will soon be dredged by the drainage department at a cost of around Rs 30 crores to allow boats to traverse it.
The chief engineer of Cuttack drainage division, Manoj Patra and other officials recently visited the 12-kilometre-long Govari river mouth from Jamboo to Hukitola island, said Tusharkanta Mohapatra, executive engineer, of Marsaghai division.
They found the water level at the river mouth not adequate to run fishing vessels and tourist boats and ordered the dredging of the river mouth up to five metres to make the river navigable, said Mohapatra.
Due to heavy littoral drifts or sedimentation at the river mouth, the gushing water fails to quickly recede during floods.
The sand deposit on the bed of the Govari river confluence is the main reason behind the slow release of flood water from Mahakalapada and Marsaghai blocks of the district, added Mohapatra.
Due to heavy siltation, fishing boats capsized in the Govari river mouth after hitting sandbanks during low tide.
In January this year, 10 tourists including eight children drowned when their boat turned turtle after hitting a sand bar during low tide.
For years de-silting had not taken place at the river mouth, resulting in accumulation of sand and mud, said Arjun Mandal, the vice-president of the district fishermen’s association.
Hukitola island and 182-year-old lighthouse at Batighar island near Govari river mouth are major attractions for tourists in the winter season.
The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTAC) had two years back completed the restoration and renovation work of the century-old historic building at the Hukitola island by the World Bank-sponsored Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) programme at a cost of Rs two crores to draw more tourists to this colonial building with a new-look.