CUTTACK: The state Government on Monday admitted in the Orissa High Court that no eviction work for clearance of encroachments in Chilika lake area has been undertaken for over two months. Eviction work was last undertaken on November 25, 2019.
By then encroachment of net gheries over an area of 268.37 acres under Krushnaprasad Tahsil was evicted. "No further eviction work was taken up after November 25, 2019 due to constant protest by local people,"said Puri Collector Balwant Singh said in an affidavit filed on Monday.
"Encroachment of Chilika lake and eviction work is a continuous process as after eviction of the unauthorised prawn gheries (both earthen and net) by the district administration, local villagers encroach the same again for illegal prawn gheries," Singh said in his affidavit.
The Puri Collector further said there was need for a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the State Pollution Control Board, Chilika Development Authority and Forest & Environment department for taking up blasting inside Chilika lake for demolition of the embankments of illegal gheries. Singh said the authorities concerned were moved for the NOC on January 2, 2020.
According to status report submitted in Court by the special high level committee, illegal earthen prawn gheries (farms) over 83.63 sq km are to be demolished and evicted in Chilika wetland area under Puri district.
Taking note of the affidavit the division bench of acting Chief Justice Sanju Panda and Justice SK Sahoo directed the Chief Secretary to reconstitute the Special High Level Committee formed by the State Government for conservation of Chilika lake and Bhitarkanika National Park. The Bench has posted the matter to March 2 for taking stock of the progress in eviction work