Rashmi Ranjan

As many as 60 passengers are now stranded in the middle of the Chilika lake after a floating bridge vessel (Bhasa Pola) ferrying them got stuck due to some technical snag on Thursday afternoon.

According to sources, the floating vessel developed a technical snag soon after it left Satapada at around 2.15 pm with passengers on board.

It was carrying five four-wheelers, more than 20 two-wheelers, sources added

On being informed about the incident, Chilika Development Authority (CDA) officials rushed to the spot and started the repair work of the vessel. Besides, efforts are on to bring the passengers safely to shore.

It is worth mentioning here that instances of floating bridge vessels managed by CDA developing snags have become frequent in the lagoon.

Earlier this year, over 50 passengers were trapped in the middle of the lake after a floating bridge vessel got stranded. The incident took place on January 20.

Similarly in February 2020, several commuters along with their bikes, four wheelers and a bus travelling from Janhikuda ghata to Satapada were trapped on the floating bridge in the middle of Chilika waters near Brahmagiri. The bridge had gone out of track under the influence of strong and gusty winds.

In October 2020, the second floating bridge of Chilika Lake commissioned just a month back in September 2020, capsized partly. It was commissioned by the CDA in addition to the first one on September 15.