Post Mahanadi mishap: Locals call for execution of Odisha Boat Rules, 2004

Mahakalapara: The implementation of the amended Odisha Boat Rules, 2004 has become all the more important after 10 people drowned in Mahanadi while returning from a picnic at Hukitola Island in Kendrapara district.

The boat tragedy has woken up the district administration and the forest department from their slumber as they launched crackdowns on unsafe ferrying of passengers in boats to Hukitola.

Many picnickers are thronging the island to spend some quality moments in the serenity and the beautiful natural site. The administration has formed squads which are verifying the boats ferrying people and picnickers to the island.

Apprehending crackdown due to non-compliance of norms, many boat operators have stopped ferrying passengers to the island.

Residents have alleged that the death of the 10 people hardly had any impact on the unscrupulous boat owners and boatmen as they continue to violate norms and ferry passengers in overloaded boats to Hukitola and other places in the district.

They apprehended that the administration is not all that sincere in implementing these rules for which boat mishaps are taking place at frequent intervals. The locals alleged that the enthusiasm the administration is showing in cracking down on violators might slow down after a period.

They alleged that this has happened due to negligence in implementation of the amended Odisha Boat Rules, 2004. According to the norms, boat owners need to register the boats before plying and obtain certificates on passe....

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