The Odisha government has registered 8,506 deaths due to drowning in the last six years, with an average of almost 1,417 deaths per annum, Home Minister Tusharkanti Behera said in the Odisha Assembly on Monday.
In a written reply to a question of BJP MLA Sukant Kumar Nayak, Behera said that 935 cases of drowning deaths were reported in 2016, which went up to 1,079 in 2017 and 1,406 in 2018.
Similarly, 1,441 drowning cases were reported in 2019, 1,840 in 2020 and 1,805 in the 2021, he added.
As per the statement of the MoS, the highest number of drowning cases (121) were reported from Cuttack urban police district in 2016 followed by 57 in Mayurbhanj district and 54 in Balasore district, in the same year.
The data also showed that Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar and Ganjam reported more drowning deaths compared to other districts every year.
In 2021, the highest number of deaths which is 167, were reported from Mayurbhanj district, followed by Keonjhar (145), Ganjam (111), Bhadrak (98), Kendrapara (95), Puri (80) and Jagatsinghpur (80).
The Odisha government has included drowning deaths in the list of state specific disasters in order to provide financial assistance of Rs 4 lakh each to the victims’ families.