Mrunal Manmay Dash

As many as 60 passengers along with 40 two-wheelers were stuck in Chilika lake after the motorised boat they were travelling in developed a technical snag midway on Wednesday.

The boat was en route to Satapada from Janhikuda in Puri’s Krushnaprasad block.

As per reports, the boat developed a technical snag just 1 kilometre away from Janhikuda after leaving the jetty at 1pm.

As per reports, the district administration has not reached the spot yet. Instead, the local boatmen are trying to get the broken-down boat to the shore by tethering it to their boats.

It is pertinent to mention here that crossing Chilika lake by boat is the only way for the locals to get to Krushnaprasad block.

Overcrowded boats getting stuck in Chilika is nothing new for the locals owing to shallow waters in the six km stretch from Janhikuda to Satapada. Boats stuck in shallow waters are generally pulled back after high tide in the evening.

The Chilika Development Authority (CDA) had dug up a channel inside the lake in 2000 for the boats to operate on the route. But it has since then been filled by sand and mud making boating on the route difficult.

Notably, on January 14, a passenger boat en route to Maa Kalijai shrine with 20 devotees on board got stuck midway in Chilika lake due to dense fog. This had then prompted the local administration to temporarily suspend the boat service in Chilika lake till the fog situation subsided.