CDA opposes seaplane operation in Chilika Lagoon in Odisha

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Bhubaneswar : The Chilika Development Authority (CDA) has opposed the operation of seaplane and water aerodrome in the Chilika Lagoon in Odisha, saying it is likely to cause irrevocable damage to the ecosystem and livelihood of the population dependent on it.

"Though the exact area and location of the water aerodrome for operation has not been shared with CDA, operation of seaplane at any location of the lake can have serious and far reaching consequences on the ecosystem of the lake," said CDA chief executive Sushant Nanda in a report.

The report was submitted to the General Administration department of the state government on Wednesday.

The Civil Aviation Ministry has approved a proposal to set up water aerodromes in the country.

It has identified Chilika Lake in Odisha, Sardar Sarovar Dam and Sabarmati River Front in Gujarat in the first phase for the development of such facilities.

The CDA said this will affect directly the livelihood of fisherfolk dependent on it and indirectly the entire population of 151 villages dotted around Chilika in the three districts of Khurdha, Puri and Ganjam.

Based on its rich bio-diversity and socio-economic importance, Chilika Lake was designated as a Ramsar site in 1981 as a wetland of international importance. The lake is an assemblage of 335 species of fishes, 230 species of birds and is a habitat of 339 phytoplankton, 729 plants, 30 reptiles making it a unique aquatic ecosystem in the world.

Besides, Irwadi dolphin is the flagship species inhabiting Chilika. It is one of the two lagoons in the world that supports an Irwadi dolphin population.