With an aim to boost the tourism sector, the Odisha government has decided to start boating facilities at 100 water tracks by December this year.

During a virtual meeting on Friday, Chief Secretary S.C. Mahapatra directed the departments of forest and environment, water resources and tourism to identify around 100 spots for starting the boating facilities and submit the final list within a month.

Mahapatra also directed the concerned officials to set the floating jetties and boats in quick sessions, and the activities should start by December this year.

He further said that the locations should be identified on the basis of their competitiveness for being popular in the tourism market and for offering exotic experiences to the tourists.

Proper choice of the locations and their popularisation will attract private investment to the tourism sector which will take the state's eco-tourism to the next level, the Chief Secretary said.

The officials of the tourism department have been directed to ensure proper safety measures in the boating spots. The government has decided to manage the spots though the local communities.

According to sources, Odisha has 118 small and big dams including major dams like Hirakud, Mandira, Patora, Deras, Jhumka, Indrabati, Kolab etc.

Similarly, the state is bestowed with natural lakes like Chilika, Ansupa, Pata and Kanjia and big rivers such as Mahanadi, Bramhani, Baitarani, Rusikulya, Bansadhara, Nagabali, Subarnarekha and Budhabalanga. These places offer scores of sites for boating activities, the source said.