Odisha recorded 1,771 deaths due to drowning in rivers and other waterbodies in the last three years with an average of 590 fatalities annually, Minister of State for Home Tusharkanti Behera told the Assembly while replying to a question by BJD MLA Mousadhi Bag.

While 469 drowning death cases were reported in 2020, it went up to 576 in 2021 and 726 in 2022, Behera said.

Mayurbhanj district recorded the highest 198 cases of drowning deaths during the three years, followed by 154 in Ganjam and Cuttack (146), Korapur (137) and Khurda (102), he said.

Informing about the steps taken by the government to check the problem, the minister said fire and emergency services personnel along with necessary equipment were deployed at vulnerable points of different rivers during festive seasons.

As the drowning cases are rising in the state, the government has asked all fire station officers to identify vulnerable points of different waterbodies and launch public awareness drives, he added.