Bhubanewar, Jan 3 (LocalWire) After the tragic boat capsize in Mahanadi river in Kendrapara district that claimed nine lives, it has come to fore that the boat was ferrying passengers without license. There was no provision of any life jacket on the boat.
Despite incidents of boat capsize in the past, the local administration has failed to ensure safety in waterways.
Unregistered, illegal, dilapidated boats and motor launches are operating in the district.
Overcrowding has been a major reason behind boat capsize, which needs to be taken care of by the administration.
Pitamber Tarai, a leader of fishermen community, alleged it is the gross negligence of the administration to ensure safe journey of passengers on waterways which are linked to picnic spots.
“There are no ferry boats to take passengers or picnickers to visit these tourist spots. Picnickers are forced to travel on unlicensed, illegal water boats causing boat mishaps,” said Tarai.
Lack of surprise inspections, negligence in conducting inclination tests to assess passenger capacity per deck, absence of stability requirements in the boat are some of the major reasons of boat tragedy in the state.
Assistant Director of Fisheries (Marine) Kujang Manas Ranjan Swain said: “This mini fishing boat, meant for fishing activities, illegally ferried the passengers near Hukitola.”
“This boat has no license, there is no life jacket. Departmental inquiry is going on into the boat mishap,” he added.
A boat with 55 people capsized in Mahanadi river at 6.20 pm on Wednesday at Sananipanianear Barkolikhala in Batighar Gram Panchayat of Kendrapara district.
The passengers were returning from a picnic at Light House of Hukitola island when the mishap occurred.