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Satapada Disaster: Are Tourists Safe in Chilika?

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TNI Bureau: After the Satapada incident, eyebrows have been raised on the safety of the tourists, who are visiting Chilika via Satapada. The incident sparked anger among other tourists after one of them drowned in deep water after falling from a boat in Chilika. The victim is still missing and his family members who are from Chhattisgarh are searching him at other villages.

Reacting to the incident, Puri district collector Naba Kumar Nayak directed the relevant authorities to register all the boats at Satapada area within five days. The mishap happened on Wednesday due to negligence of the boatman and no safety accessories like tube, rope, life jacket and light were kept on the boat to save the victim.

As per the government record, a total of 20 boats out of 740 have been moving in Chilika from Satapada have their documents of registration. Even 95% of the boats do not posses insurance and licence in that area. The collector asked the authorities to register rest of the boats within 5 days, or else, the boats will not be allowed to take the tourists to Chilika from Satapada.

Apart from it, the DSP will monitor the activities of the Boat association in Satapada. Sources said that a total of 6 boat centres are there in that area to provide services to the tourists, who wish to go to Chilika and to view the activities of Dolphin fishes.

On the other hand, the authorities and the boat owners are pelting stones at each other. The authorities blamed the boat owners for such accidents. Despite notice sent to them, the owners of the boats were not giving attention on safety measures. When asked the owners about the insurance of their boats, they held responsible the administration for not registering the boats.

Whatever the initiatives will be taken may be executed later, but what the family members of the victim will do? Now the question rises on the safety of tourists in that area. The victim, Sarat Gupta, who is still missing, hails from Chhattisgarh. He had recently married on December 17. The couple had visited Puri and Satapada after their marriage with friends.

However, Sharat was not aware of the fact that he will be the victim of the boat owners’ negligence. His wife, who had recently tied the knot with Sharat, is completely shocked as she does not know the whereabouts of her husband. Whether he is alive or dead, nobody has the answer.

The victim’s friends accused the boatman for the incident, as he left Sharat to drown in the deep water after he fell from the boat. Now the boatman is absconding and police have no clue about the victim.

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