Suryakant Jena

At least four people on average lose their lives due to drowning each day in Odisha. The state government has registered 8,506 deaths due to drowning over last six years, an average of almost 1,417 deaths per annum.

The shocking revelation was made by Home Minister Tusharkanti Behera in the Odisha Assembly on Monday.

Replying to a question of BJP MLA Sukant Kumar Nayak, Behera said 935 cases of drowning deaths were recorded in 2016, which gradually went up to 1,079 in 2017 and 1,406 in 2018.

Likewise, 1,441 drowning cases were reported in 2019, 1,840 in 2020 and 1,805 in the 2021, the minister added.

According to the data furnished, the highest number of drowning cases (121) were reported from Cuttack urban police district in 2016 followed by 57 in Mayurbhanj and 54 in Balasore district, in the same year.

What has been more concerning is that Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar and Ganjam reported more drowning deaths compared to other districts every year.

Last year in 2021, the highest number of deaths which is 167, were reported from Mayurbhanj, followed by Keonjhar (145), Ganjam (111), Bhadrak (98), Kendrapara (95), Puri (80) and Jagatsinghpur (80).

Notably, Odisha government has included drowning deaths in the list of state specific disasters in order to provide financial assistance of Rs 4 lakh each to the family of a deceased.

With agency inputs...

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