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Kangra Police launches campaign to prevent deaths by drowning

Statesman News Service | Shimla |

Once bitten twice shy. Taking cue from incidents of drowning in the rivers and rivulets of the district, Kangra Police has launched a campaign to aware people, especially youngsters and tourists from venturing into rivers at vulnerable points that are prone to drowning incidents.

Officials say most of the times, it has been seen that youngsters and tourists fall for the lure of cool water in the summer season as they aren’t aware about the current of water at these vulnerable points.

Further, many local fairs and festivals fall in the summer season during which the youngsters skip such functions and accompanying elders to enjoy swimming in the rivers. It leads to incidents of drowning most of the times.

Superintendent of Police, Kangra, Sanjeev Gandhi said that the campaign was launched in the district after the death of two young boys in Jwali area was reported in February this year.

Five persons from the Hoshiarpur district of Punjab had drowned in a rivulet near Dehra in Kangra district in August last year while they were on pilgrimage of religious places in Una and Kangra district.

“It is for the first time that such intensive campaign has been launched in the district to prevent casualties in upcoming tourist season,” he said.

Gandhi said the Police have identified places susceptible for drowning on and along major rivers and rivulets in the district.

“We have placed signages at some places and efforts are on to place such posters at other vulnerable points in the district,” he said.

The Kangra Police will also depute a Constable or Home Guard at such vulnerable places to warn tourists and locals from venturing into the river at these points. “The Police personnel who would be stationed at vulnerable points, would be equipped with binoculars, red flags and whistle to warn tourists and locals from going into the river,” he said.

These signages would be multilingual (English and Hindi) and at some places in Punjabi as thousands of pilgrims visit the Kangra district every year to pay their obeisance at Shaktipeeth temples as Jawalaji, Chamunda and Brajeshwari Temples.

As the current of river varies during the Monsoon season and people who can’t resist the lure of swim in cool water during summers leads to casualties as they don’t have knowledge about the phenomenon.

The Kangra Police has also directed the Sub-Divisional Police Officers and DSPs to meet panchayat representatives, situated near such points and ask them to raise the issue during their meetings. “This would help in restraining youngsters at these places,” Sanjeev Gandhi said.

It is worthwhile to mention here that 50 persons had lost their lives due to drowning in Kangra district in 2016.