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Jobra barrage to be out of bounds for public bathing

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, Apr 3:

Cuttack collector Nirmal Mishra today ordered an administrative inquiry into Thursday’s tragic incident in which four students of Ravenshaw University were drowned to death while bathing in River Mahanadi near the Jobra Barrage in Odisha’s Cuttack city.

mahanadi drowning

The collector has asked for the report of the administrative inquiry to be filed within 15 days. Further, the collector has ordered Jobra Barrage authorities for immediate construction of a barricade at the mishap site to bar people from using it for bathing and prevent further mishaps from happening.

On orders from the collector, a team of the Jobra Barrage official today visited the mishap site and assessed the requirements for a barricade to be put up. Thye later met the collector.

They have offered suggestions to the district administration on what measures can be taken up to prevent such accidents in the future as such incidents have been taking place in the area at regular intervals during festivals etc.

More often than not, students of educational institutions located along the banks of river Mahanadi have been the victims in these mishaps.

Jobra barrage authorities are learnt to have told the collector that the spot where the mishap took place yesterday is not a bathing ghat but people use it for bathing.

They informed the collector that it is a protection wall of the barrage and some steps have been constructed for use by barrage authorities. The collector has directed the Barrage authorities to completely barricade the area with barbed wire fencing to prevent people from using it for bathing and avoid occurrence of such mishaps. Also access to the steps near the protection wall will be blocked by construction of a brick and mortar wall.

Moreover, “Not for Bathing” signage with depth details will be put up at different places in the area for information of the people in the next two days. The place does not have any such signage warning people against using the place for bathing.

No person will be allowed to take bath there apart from creating awareness among the people. Such signage will be also put up at Annecut, Chahata ghat and Gadagadia ghat of River Mahanadi, sources said.

While a pall of gloom pervades the atmosphere at Ravenshaw University, the authorities have decided to hold regular counseling of students against going for baths in any river or water bodies without taking permission from varsity authorities.

Information boards will be put up at different places in the campus asking students not to go for bath to any water bodies and warning them on the hazards of it.

Moreover, students have been asked to inform varsity authorities immediately if any of their friends go for such baths so that steps can be taken to prevent such mishaps.

Four students of Ravenshaw University Shahnawaz Khan, Debaprasad Rath, Pyarimohan Pradhan and  Pritiranjan Das who had gone to take bath in the river Mahanadi near Jobra Barrage drowned while bathing at 3.10 PM yesterday.

Five students of Ravenshaw University had gone for a bath in the river Mahanadi at Jobra Barrage around 3.10 PM on Thursday. While one student lost his balance while bathing, others tried to rescue him and got drowned in the process.

One student was rescued by the locals.They were second year students of Information Science and Telecommunications (IST) and Information Technology Management (ITM) courses.