The West Bengal government, in association with Jadavpur University(JU), is preparing a disaster management plan to identify measures to prevent accidents in this tourist spot.
Alarmed by the death of four tourists in Digha recently, the state government has pulled up its socks and asked the JU Oceanography department to start a survey to identify safe areas for bathing.
State Environment Minister Mohanta Chatterjee told UNI today that a team of JU experts have been sent to Digha. ''The experts will conduct a survey and investigate the reasons behind regular accidents,'' he said.
''Certain areas in Old Digha beaches are not safe for bathing.
Digha Development Authority has already cautioned the people. But people bathe in dangerous zones, especially during high tide, resulting in accidents,'' JU Oceanography department Professor Dr Sugata Hazra said.
However, he mentioned that New Digha and Shankarpur beaches are safer compared to Old Digha ones.
Oceanographer and chairman of the Digha-Shankarpur development Authority Anandadev Mukhapadhay has said that the under-current is high near all the existing bathing beaches in Old and New Digha.
''We expect the report of the survey within three months. It is very important for us to find out safe stretches as drowning related deaths are increasing every year,'' he said.
About 46 people, mostly tourists, have been dragged away by the sea since 2003.
Talking about the disaster plan, Dr Hazra said, ''We have proposed to set up a sea centre and create embankments to stop disasters. The centre, if run by Indian Coast Guards, would be ready with equipment and trained people to prevent such accidents.
The draft plan on Integrated Coastal Zone Managemnent Plan, which was submitted two days ago, also focused on specific measures to stop accidents.
Apart from suggesting safe bathing zones, the University experts have already asked the state government to stop the use of rubber tubes for bathing. Tourists generally use rubber tubes and go deep into the sea where accidents occur.
The draft plan is divided in five broad sections. These are erosion management, disaster management, tourism development, pollution control and bio-diversity.
The Digha Development Authority would be implementing the project.
UNI JYN PL AB VC1100