BHUBANESWAR: Expressing serious concern over large scale loss of biodiversity and habitats for many species in Chilika Lake due to increasing number of ‘fish ponds’ and rampant excavation works, Wild Orissa on Tuesday urged State Government to put an immediate break on such activities near the lagoon -- the largest brackish water body of Asia.
The organisation requested the government to immediately stop all construction of fish ponds and excavation activities in Chilika lake while urging it to ensure Biodiversity Impact Assessment (BIA) is carried out and taken into consideration prior to allowing creation of such ‘fish ponds’ and carry out the excavations which is rampant near Chilka eco-system.
“The large scale construction of ‘fish ponds’ and excavation work carried out in villages located on the shores of Chilika Lake has posed extreme challenges to the flora and fauna of the world famous Ramsar Site and are destroying natural habitats for many species,” Chief Spokesperson of Wild Orissa, Kulamani Deo said.
Terming State Government’s fisheries policy as ‘faulty’, Deo said allowing large scale construction of “fish ponds” and excavation works on the shore of the lagoon, which is taking place in the North sector of the lake (Bhusandpur, Sundarpur, Mangalajodi) at present, is a serious threat to its biodiversity.
Such activities which had taken place in Krushnaprasad and Brahmagiri blocks of Chilka Lake in Puri district earlier had led to much loss of habitat for birds and many other species including Fishing Cat and Otters, Deo added.
Campaign to make lake plastic free
Bhubaneswar: In an effort to save Chilika lagoon from plastic pollution hazard, Chilika Development Authority (CDA) has decided to launch one-year sustained campaign to make it plastic-free. “The campaign is important as Chilika lagoon, spread over 1165 sq km is affected by plastic pollution like other water bodies. The plastic pollution, apart from causing health hazards has also gone into the food chain through micro plastics in the various fish, crab and prawn present in the lake. The extent of micro plastics is being estimated and likely to take time,” CDA authorities said on Wednesday. The campaign will focus on refusing plastic materials which cannot be recycled and causes severe health hazards, reducing use of plastic which by safely disposing of those, reuse of plastic, which can be recycled after segregating with same. The campaign will also implement the 2004 decision of OSPCB to ban plastic carry bags in and around Chilika. Meanwhile, CDA is conducting a logo competition for its campaign and has invited suggestions. Contestants can send their entries to email@example.com till July 6.