Sports enthusiasts in the state have a reason to cheer — the chief minister’s office has cleared a proposal for a water sports facility at Pitamahal Reservoir in Sundargarh district.
The new facility will provide people with an opportunity to indulge in scuba diving, snorkelling, wind surfing, kayaking and rafting.
The Kalinga Divers Foundation, led by internationally-certified scuba driver, Sabir Bux, had submitted the proposal for the sports park. “The purpose is to promote the tourism potential of the place and to ensure livelihood opportunities for local youths,” Bux told TOI.
Bux, who has set up another water sports park at Ramachandi on the Puri-Konark marine drive, has already procured equipment like water scooters, wetsuits and life jackets for the Pitamahal facility.
A team of local tribal youth has been assembled to guide tourists. “In water sports, safety and security of tourists is important. We have prepared a team of 15 locals who are trained from the National Institute of Watersports in Goa. They will be engaged at the Pitamahal reservoir,” said Bux.
The Pitamahal reservoir has a catchment area of 104 square kilometres and is one of the popular tourist spots near Rourkela. Located near Balanda village in Sundargarh district, the reservoir was constructed in 1978 on the, Pitamahal, a tributary of the river Sankha.