Illegal prawn gheris to be blasted off in Odisha's Chilika lake

The main difficulties in removing the earthen gheris are due to the size of embankment making mechanical breaking tough and reconstruction of the same.

Published: 26th February 2020 12:09 PM  |   Last Updated: 26th February 2020 12:09 PM   |  A+A-

Chilika Lake

Chilika Lake. (Photo| EPS)

By Express News Service

CUTTACK: The Special High-Level Committee constituted for protection of Chilika has decided to use low intensive explosives for demolition of illegal prawn gheris in the lake from Thursday.

The committee, formed in pursuance of Orissa High Court order on a PIL for restoration of the ecology of Chilika, took the decision as part of a consolidated action plan prepared for eviction of gheris at its last meeting on February 20.

As per the minutes of the meeting (MoM), the main difficulties in removing the earthen gheris are due to the size of embankment making mechanical breaking tough, reconstruction of the same after demolishing a part of it and resistance from prawn culturists.

The committee felt that, "The only way to clear the gheris is controlled blasting through low power explosives to dismantle the embankment. After which, the earthen walls are to be demolished by use of machines."

"Thus, it was decided to use low intensive explosives under strict supervision with the least environmental impact following due procedures," the MoM stated. The panel has entrusted Chilika Development Authority (CDA) the job of coordinating with the Collectors of Khurda and Puri for taking up the controlled blast.

According to the status report submitted by the State Government in the High Court, illegal prawn gheris spread over 3,022.099 acre in Khurda, 580 acre in Ganjam and 2,0665.42 acre in Puri district are to be evicted. As per the schedule fixed by the committee, eviction of the existing gheris in Khurda district will start from Thursday and will be completed in two months time. The Ganjam Collector is expected to complete the demolition of the balance areas by March 31.

“For Puri district, two senior officers of the rank of Deputy Collectors will be positioned for three months to take up eviction drive up to May 31 for 2,000 hectare of area by forming two teams in Khrushnaprasad and Brahmagiri blocks. Thereafter, on completion of the Car Festival, eviction will resume from August,” the official record said.

CESU drive: Rs 17.18 crore arrear collected

BHUBANESWAR: The Central Electricity Supply Utility (CESU) has collected an arrear of Rs 17.18 crore from 6,339 low transmission consumers in the second phase of its disconnection drive against defaulters. The collection has been made in the last eight days till Monday in all the 20 divisions under five circles of eight and half (part of Jajpur) districts of the State.

A highest collection of Rs 2.25 crore was reported on February 19 taking the cumulative realisation of arrears to Rs 89.84 crore.  The utility had a massive arrears of Rs 1,971 crore against 7.78 lakh consumers till the second week of December 2019. Of the total arrear bills over Rs 1,023 crore were pending against domestic consumers who constitute 92 per cent of the total defaulters.

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