Odisha To Put Up Fencing Nets At River Ghats To Prevent Drowning, Crocodile Attacks

Bhubaneswar: To check loss of lives in crocodile attacks and drowning incidents, the Odisha government has decided to put up fencing nets around river ghats across the state.

In the first phase, fences would be erected at 100 river ghats at a cost of Rs 2 crore, sources said.

Revenue and Forest departments had held two meetings to discuss the issue. “Necessary arrangements will be made at river ghats to provide safety and security to the people from crocodile attacks and curb drowning incidents. A decision on it will soon be taken after discussions with the Water Resources department,” minister Pramilla Mallik earlier told the media.

Sources further said that the engineer-in-chief of the Water Resources department has been requested to take necessary action for making a provision of funds in the supplementary budget for 2023-24. He will also identify the location, and submit a list of structures to be constructed around the river ghats in coordination with the Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA), which will draw up a detailed project report, entailing the plan and design of the structures (fencing).

“It will be a joint initiative and fencing nets will be erected in 100 ghats to curb the man-reptile conflict and drowning incidents,” said engineer-in-chief of the Water Resources department Bhakta Ranjan Mohanty.

Notably, fencing nets are currently being erected at the ghats of rivers that are infested with crocodiles in Kendrapada, where six deaths have been reported since June this year. Similarly, around 10,000 people have drowned to death in the state in the last seven years, making it one of the most common cause of deaths in Odisha. A total of 1,476 such cases were reported in 2022, according to the standing committee report of Revenue and Disaster Management department.

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