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Nitesh Kumar Sahoo

The number of tourists visiting the famous Hirakud dam from across Odisha as well as beyond the State has been witnessing a steady rise with the introduction of water sports and other leisure activities.

As per reports, along with Eco Retreat, the introduction of different water sports activities including boating, parasailing, scuba diving and water skating at the dam has turned out to be a crowd-puller, especially at weekends when there is a significant surge in the number of tourists.

"The initiative by the government is enthralling for tourists from all over. I used to visit this place during eco-retreat and if these water sports facilities continue, we will definitely come here multiple times. We have guests from Surat and they really find it amusing," said Rakhi Agrawal, a tourist. 

The administration has also put in place adequate security measures to ensure safety of tourists during water sports. Lifeguards have been appointed at the tourist spot along with machine operators. 

“Safety of the tourists and enthusiasts is our first priority. This is a proud moment for us as water sports activities have been introduced for the first time in western Odisha,” said a parasailing operator."

The State government on April 2 this year had rolled out the water sports on the right dyke of Hirakud Dam near Jhankarani temple in a bid to boost tourism at the popular destination. 

However, the activities came to halt amid the pandemic and were reinitiated recently with due Covid protocols. Apart from the natural aura of the dam which attracts thousands of visitors from all over the world, migratory birds thronging the area are also a treat to watch.

“With the arrival of picnic season, the tourist footfall is on a spike. Visitors are happily participating in different water sports activities and giving good feedback. This initiative has brought glory to Sambalpur,” said Sheikh Rahim Bux, Project Director, Akela Adventure.

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