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Plan to save Chilka lake
Monday, December 14, 1998

Plan to save Chilka lake (India)

December 14, 1998

A Rs. 27 crore project is being implemented to revive and restore the ecosystem of the Chilka lake, the largest brackish water lake in India. The 10th Finance Commission has sanctioned this amount. This was disclosed by the Chief Minister of the state at a workshop held in Bhubaneshwar in Dec. 1998. The Workshop was organised by the Chilka Development Authority and the Department of Water Resources of Orissa, in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management, Orissa Environmental Society and Wetlands International, South Asia.

The government is also reported to have taken a policy decision not to locate any polluting industry in and around the lagoon and to stop the expansion of agricultural land along the lake's periphery. Other measures to revive the lake include the treatment of the catchment areas, diversion of the early monsoon flow in the Mahanadi arm of the Mahanadi river system, and the desiltation of the channel linking the lake to the sea. Improvement of the Nalaban Bird Sanctuary, and the uplift of the socio-economic condition of the villages located on the periphery of the lake have also been planned.

However, poaching in the lake is on the increase. The railway station in the sleepy town of Bhusandpur, the gateway to the lake, has become a thriving market for poached birds. The high demand for bird meat, a delicacy in places like Bhubaneshwar and Balugaon, has given a boost to the poaching. A forest official at the Nalaban Sanctuary said that the poaching operations happened largely at night, by the spreading of nets on the water. The birds are forced to fly in panic by firing a couple of shots. The birds then settle down only to be enmeshed in the net.

Source: 'Rs 27-cr. Action plan comes to the rescue of Chilka Lake'. The Times of India, 14/12/98.

'Poaching in Chilka'. Down to Earth, March 15, 1999.

Rajaram Satapathy. 'Poachers rule the roost at Chilka lake'. The Times of India, 22/01/99.

Contact: Chief Wildlife Warden, Orissa, Plot No. 8, Shahid Nagar, Bhubaneshwar 751007. Tel: 91-674-513134 / 515840. Fax: 512502.


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