Odisha makes life jackets mandatory for boat travel in Chilika

Khurda: A week after the horrific boat tragedy in Chilika Lake which claimed six lives, the State Government today made life jackets for tourists travelling in boats mandatory. Moreover, fitness certificates and registration of boats have also been made mandatory.

“It has been decided to strictly enforce safety measures for passenger-carrying vessels so that they carry adequate number of life jackets and lifebuoys on board. About 95 per cent of the funds for safety items like life jackets are being provided by the government, so Khurda and Puri collectors have been directed to ensure that the boatmen use them mandatorily,” Chief Secretary AP Padhi said after a meeting on management and safety of boat services in Chilika Lake at the Secretariat today.

Padhi further added that re-registration of boats which is done every year will henceforth be streamlined to make sure they possess necessary fitness for operation.

Sources said the government has also decided to rope in boat ambulance services for assistance on emergency rescue operations and other aspects.

The government is also mulling installation of GPS on ferries, sources informed.