Report by Suchismita Sahoo; Puri:
World famous Puri beach, which attracts lakhs of visitors every year, is turning out to be a death trap for tourists. On Wednesday 2 tourists drowned off the beach. Three days ago 1 students from West Bengal died in similar spot.
It should be noted that as per official data there were 26 in 2010, 19 in 2009, 17 in 2008 and eight in 2007 died due to drowning. The increasing number of deaths off the beach has raised concerns among tourists and tour operators.
Intellectuals and experts suggested that home guards from the Nolia community (traditional fishing community) be engaged or recruited as life guards. They urged state government that the personnel be trained and provided separate dresses to make them identifiable on the beach in case of exigencies. Life guards are provided on festive occasions, but according to the Puri district authorities, normal days which witness smaller crowds prove to be more prone to accidents.