Ferry Services In Odisha’s Chilika Lake Resume
Bhubaneswar: Boat services in the Chilika lake on Wednesday resumed after remaining closed for seven months due to COVID-19 pandemic.
The Tourism department and the local administration have issued a set of guidelines for the ferry services to begin keeping COVID-19 in view. As per the norms, the operators have to sanitise the boats thoroughly. Besides, the tourists should clean their hands and go through thermal screening at the entry and exit points. The use of face masks is mandatory for the boat crew as well as the tourists.
The administration has asked the boat owners to deploy adequate manpower to ensure social distancing among the tourists. Elderly people and the persons with medical conditions have to take additional precautions.
According to sources, the decision has come as a major relief to the boat owners and their employees who have suffered heavy loss due to closure of the services. “We totally depend on boat services for our livelihood. With its closure due to the lockdown, we were working as daily labourers. We are thankful to the administration for the decision,” the sources quoted a boat rider as saying.
However, the tourists cannot visit the Kalijai temple inside the lagoon as the state government is yet to allow the temples to reopen.