Boat carrying Union minister gets stuck in Odisha’s Chilika Lake for 2 hrs: Official

Bhubaneshwar: A boat carrying Union minister Parshottam Rupala got stuck in Odisha’s Chilika Lake for around two hours on Sunday evening allegedly because of nets laid by fishermen in the waters, an official said.

However, the administration sent another vessel which rescued the Union Minister for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying and took him to his destination. He was accompanied by BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra and a few other local party leaders while being stranded on the boat.

The incident took place when the minister started his journey from Balugaon in Khurda district and was on his way to Satapada in Puri district through the blue lagoon.

In the middle of the lake, near Nalabana bird sanctuary, the motorised boat got stuck for around two hours allegedly due to a fishing net laid in the waters, a security official deployed in the minister’s convoy duty said.

The administration quickly sent another vessel from Satapada, and the minister and his associates boarded it to reach the destination, he said.

“We expected the journey to be completed in two hours but it took us around four hours to reach the destination,” he said.

Rupala was scheduled to attend a programme near Krushnaprasad area in Puri district. However, it was cancelled at the last moment due to this incident. Rupala reached Puri around 10.30 pm, the official said.

The Union minister is visiting Odisha to interact with fishermen as part of the 11th phase of ‘Sagar Parikrama’ programme.

Earlier in the day, he launched the programme at Gopalpur harbour in Ganjam district. Rupala along with Ports, Shipping & Waterways Minister Sarbananda Sonowal will lay the foundation for a project for modernisation and upgradation of Paradip fishing harbour on Monday.