Chilika lake area to be off limits for motorboats

March 14, 2022 12:00 am | Updated 05:42 am IST - BHUBANESWAR

Plan to provide migratory birds an undisturbed ecosystem in Mangalajodi for six months every year

Welcoming birds:The Mangalajodi area is a favourite haunt of migratory birds for roosting and nesting.Biswaranjan Rout

Welcoming birds:The Mangalajodi area is a favourite haunt of migratory birds for roosting and nesting.Biswaranjan Rout

The Odisha government has proposed to ban movement of mechanised fishing boats in the Mangalajodi area of the Chilika lake, an important haunt of migratory birds, to provide the winged guests an undisturbed ecosystem for six months every year.

The Orissa High Court concurred with the proposal, directing that the ban be strictly implemented till further orders. A high-level meeting discussed the issue in response to a court order. “The Fisheries Department and Wildlife Department will, in consultation with each other, come up with concrete set of measures to be put in place to regulate the activity in the area and restrict the use of motorboats preferably to one main channel,” the court said.

Mangalajodi is recognised as globally important for the conservation of birds. Migratory birds arrive there for roosting and nesting. However, no statutory rules and regulations are there for protecting the marshland with emergent vegetation.

Seasonal curbs

The meeting’s proceedings submitted to the court say, “Fishermen may be allowed to use all the main channels leading to Mangalajodi, Sundarpur, Bhusundapur and Kalupadaghata. There should be a ban on movement of mechanised boats in all sub-channels from October till March.”

“A request will be made to Fishery and Animal Resource Development Department to examine the matter under provision of Orissa Marine Fishing Regulation Act, 1982 under section 4(1) which states the government may restrict or prohibit the using of such fishing gear for which licence is being granted in any specified area as may be prescribed,” the meeting resolved.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice S. Muralidhar and Judge R. K. Pattanaik will now hear the case on April 6.

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