Boat Carrying Mediapersons Topples During Maha CM's Event; All Scribes Safe

(MENAFN- IANS) Bhandara (Maharashtra), June 24 (IANS) A boat carrying around 15 mediapersons toppled in the Wainganga River here shortly after Chief Minister Eknath Shinde inaugurated a mega water tourism project on Monday.

Bhandara Superintendent of Police, Lohit Matani, said the boat carrying the journalists was filled as per capacity during the inaugural ceremonies.

“At one point, some of the mediapersons apparently moved to one side of the boat as a result of which it tilted, with many of the occupants falling in the water. However, an NDRF team stationed nearby quickly rushed there and rescued all of them,” Matani said.

He SP also said that contrary to earlier reports that the boat had broken into three pieces, the small vessel did not suffer any damage, as it regained balance later and was brought ashore, as also the journalists, thus averting a potential tragedy.

Earlier, Shinde launched the first phase of the Rs 102 crore water tourism project at the Wainganga River in the presence of local MLA Narendra Bhondekar, Collector Yogesh Kumbhekar, Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation's Sarang Kulkarni and Dinesh Kamble, and Gosikhurd Dam officials Rajesh Dhumne and R.G. Patil.

Shinde himself sat on the boat wheel and sailed for some time besides taking part in a tree plantation drive to mark the occasion.

“I also experienced boating myself. This water sports project will put Bhandara on the country's tourism map, spur the development of the region, and ensure a lot of new employment opportunities for the locals,” CM Shinde said.

He added that Maharashtra has a coastline of 720 km and there is huge potential for similar water sports-related projects in the state.

Last month, during a visit to Bhandara, the CM approved the water tourism project worth Rs 102 crore, of which Rs 43 crore would be shared by the Water Resources Department and the rest by the MTDC.

Simultaneously, around 450 acres of land has been allotted near the river banks to set up the entire water tourism project which will offer various options to the tourists and watersports enthusiasts alike.



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