Mrunal Manmay Dash

A passenger boat en route to Maa Kalijai shrine with 20 devotees on board got struck midway in Chilika lake on Saturday due to dense fog.

As per reports, the boat had set off from the Gada jetty under Krushnaprasad block in Puri district with 20 devotees who were going to Goddess Kalijai shrine to have darshan on the occasion of Makar Sankranti today.

However, the boatman reportedly lost the direction in the vast Chilika lake due to dense fog and sought help.

Sources said a thick blanket of fog covered Chilika lake on Saturday morning. Devotees who wished to visit the Kalijai Shrine waited patiently for the fog to subside. As the day progressed, the fog subsided to some extent and some boats sailed out in the lake for Kalijai.

But, after sailing for some time, the fog thickened and the boatman lost sight of the Kalijai hill and its direction. It stopped midway and sent an SoS to the jetty, following which an ODRAF team was pressed into action.

As per the latest reports, the boat has been rescued and it is currently headed towards Kalijai hill.

Meanwhile, the local administration has temporarily suspended the boat service in the Chilika lake till the fog situation subsides.

(Reported By Nilakantha Pradhan, OTV)