78 tourists die on same beach in three years

The dangerous waters of Puri lure bathers to their death every month

The sandy coastal beach in India’s holy town of Puri in Orissa (officially called Odisha since November 2011) lures tourists from around the world. But the local government has repeatedly failed to put up adequate warnings about the waters’ dangers, according to media reports. As a result, “at least” 78 people have died there in the last three years. In 2011 alone, more than 30 people have died there including 14 students, according to NGO the Beach Protection Council of Orissa. Now the death toll for another grim year in Puri is known, Odisha’s chief secretary has promised that it will soon identify places along the seven-km stretch of beach that are the most dangerous and additional lifeguards will be deployed.
“We have been drawing the attention of the government for five years. But no action has been taken,” the NGO said.  The local police chief said, “Don’t blame the police alone for the deaths; it requires the combined efforts of the police, hoteliers, NGOs and the local fishing community to ensure the safety of tourists.”
India Times
[photo by by Nir Nussbaum]