Bhubaneswar, June 23 (IANS) The Odisha government on Saturday decided to make the wearing of life jackets mandatory and install GPS in boats operating in the Chilika lake, Asia’s largest brackish water lagoon.
The state government took the decision after a boat capsized last week, claiming six lives.
“Wearing of life jackets by the boat passengers will be made mandatory and GPS will also be installed in the boats. The inquiry report submitted by the Directorate of Ports and Inland Water Transport has also proposed so,” informed Odisha Commerce and Transport Minister Nrusingha Charan Sahu.
District collectors have been directed to appoint surveyors to ensure the provision of lifebuoys, life jackets and fire extinguishers for boats, said Sahu.
Informing on the boat capsize incident, the Minister said though the boatman was provided with lifebuoys, 20 life jackets, they were not used during the mishap.
“As we had provided an adequate number of life jackets and lifebuoys to every boat, probe into the tragedy has found that the passengers didn’t use the life jackets even though they were available,” said Sahu.
Reviewing the management and safety measures in boats, Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi said life jackets will be made mandatory for persons travelling in boats while all boats operating in Chilika will be registered.