KalingaTV News Network
Bhubaneswar: Odisha Commerce and Transport Minister Nrusingha Charan Sahu on Saturday said that the ferry boats in the state will be fitted with Global Positioning System (GPS). This statement came against the backdrop of the recent Chilika boat tragedy that claimed the lives of 6 persons on June 16.
The minister had on June 18 asked the director of Port and Inland Water Transport Subrat Rout to probe the incident and submit report to the government.
After examination of the findings of the report, a letter prescribing all the guidelines has been sent to the district collectors. The collectors have been asked to appoint ‘surveyors’ for the boats who will look if the lifesaving equipment are being used by the passengers and if any safety norms are being flouted by the boat owners.
“A letter has been sent to the collectors regarding the safety norms. All the boats will be fitted with GPS systems which will help them in navigation and give information regarding the weather,” said Nrusingha Sahu.
Notably, on June 16, six persons including four children and two women were killed as the country boat they were travelling in capsized in the middle of Chilika Lake while returning from Kalijai Temple. After submission of the probe report on Friday, G Srinivas, Commerce and Transport secretary said that the boat capsized after being hit by strong wind.
Speaking about the Chilika boat capsize, Nrusingha said that four lifebuoys, 20 life jackets, a fire extinguisher was provided to the boat owner but he had not used any of them. Moreover, the license of his boat had not been renewed.
Irregularities continue to dog the waterways transportation in the state with boats seen carrying vehicles and passengers without lifejackets, in clear violence of the norms.