Kendrapara: Local traders, who had not got their arrears from the manager of Kerala-based Samudra Shipyard, did not allow the company to hand over equipment taken from luxury catamarans that were kept in a rented house at Gopalpur to the forest department.
The forest department had handed over seven catamarans to the Kerala-based firm for giving an opportunity to tourists to use them at Bhitarkanika National Park (BNP).
The charge for hiring a 20-seater boat was Rs 8,000 while the charge for a nine-seater was Rs 2,500. But Samudra Shipyard stopped operating the boats some months ago.
As the boats were stranded and the agreement with Samudra Shipyard was going to end December 31, 2018, the DFO of Rajnagar wrote a letter to the company to hand over the boats to the forest department.
Saturday, employees of Samudra Shipyard came to Rajnagar to hand over the boats and their equipment to the forest department.
The ranger of Rajnagar also went with the forest officials to take over the goods fitted inside the boats like freezers, geysers, utensils and chairs that were kept in a rented house in Rajnagar.
But local businessmen who had not got get their arrears from Anil Kumar Rout, manager of Samudra Shipyard, did not allow the officials of the company to hand over the goods to the forest department.
The businessmen of Gupti were determined not to give up the goods of the boats as long as their arrears of Rs 1.14 lakh were not paid.
Rout had fled without paying the money owed to local businessman due to problems between him and his company.
Rajnagar IIC Sukanta Patra intervened in the matter after Samudra Shipyard raised the matter with the police. Rajnagar police later seized the goods, said Amareshnath Pradhan, range in-charge of Rajnagar.
Patra said the matter had been settled amicably between locals and Samudra Shipyard.
Meanwhile, locals are asking how the goods fitted in the luxury boats came to the rented house.