KENDRAPARA: The Drainage division of Department of Water Resources will soon start dredging of the Govari river mouth in the district at a cost of around Rs 30 crore.
The move is aimed at sprucing up the river bed and to facilitate movement of fishing vessels and tourist boats to the famous Hukitola island, said Executive Engineer of Drainage division, Marsaghai Tusharkanti Mohapatra.
The Chief Engineer of Drainage division of Cuttack Manoj Patra along with other officials had recently inspected the 12 km long Govari river mouth from Jamboo to Hukitola.
They found that the water level at the river mount is inadequate for operating fishing vessels and tourist boats, said Mohapatra.
He said the river mouth will be dredged for up to five metre to make it fit for navigation of vessels.
Mohapatra said owing to heavy littoral drift or sedimentation at the river mouth, excess water does not recede during floods in the area.
“Deposition of sand on the bed of the river confluence is the main reason behind the slow release of water during floods in Mahakalapada and Marsaghai blocks of the district,” he said.
Vice president of district fishermen’s association Arjun Mandal said several fishing vessels have capsized after hitting sand during low tide in the river.
He said de-silting has not been done on the river mouth for a long time resulting in accumulation of sand and mud.
Hukitola island and the 182-year-old lighthouse at Batighar island near Govari river are major attractions for tourists in the winter season.
The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), two years back, had completed the restoration and renovation of the century-old building at the Hukitola island under the World Bank sponsored Integrated Coastal Zone Management(ICZM) Programme at a cost of around Rs 2 crore.
But tourists venture into the river only during the high tide period as boats get struck on the river sand during low tide.
On January 2 this year, 10 tourists including eight children drowned when their boat capsized after hitting the sand bar during low tide period.