Kanjia lake outlet faces threat of being clogged

A view of Kanjia lake’s outlet channel.  

Staff Reporter

It plays a vital role by meeting the fresh water needs of the Nanadankanan Zoo , says director

Environmentalists fear the drain could get choked in future

Lake is designated as the wetland of national importance since 2008

BHUBANESWAR: At a time when zoo managers are trying hard to maintain a healthy biodiversity balance of Nandankanan Zoological Park (NZP), they may run into much larger problem with outlet of Kanjia lake that passes through zoo area facing obstruction. Thanks to the unbridled real estate development just outside the boundary of NZP, buildings and shops have started to come up right on the edge of outlet of Kanjia Lake. The development now threatens to clog the Kanjia which is vital to sustain Zoo life. Kanjia’s outlet channel crossed the main road connecting Bhubaneswar and Barang without much hurdle at one point, but when it travels hardly 500 metres on other side of road and returns to cross the same road again towards Raghunathpur area, problem lies there.

A boundary wall has been constructed blocking the major water-spread area of Kanjia. Besides, shops and hotel can be found just on the wall of small drain that has been built to facilitate water passage. Environmentalists now fear the drain could get choked in future as garbage would be dumped unrestricted.

Kanjia lake is designated as the wetland of national importance since 2008. It has been an important wetland laying to the south of Mahanadi delta head, within the boundary of Nandankanan sanctuary.

“The wetland is spread over 105 ha, out of which the water spread area of main lake is 75 ha, where as about 30 ha are small satellite wetland. Its plays a vital role by way of meeting the fresh water needs of the Nanadankanan Zoo as well as the botanical garden,” NZP director Ajit Pattnaik said.

NZP also envisages making it a site for the wetland education keeping in view of its rich biodiversity and strategic location. “It can serve as an open laboratory for the schoolchildren due to its rich shoreline flora and fauna. Three species of wild rice and more than 40 species of riverine fishes are encountered in this wetland,” Mr. Pattnaik said.

When asked if zoo authorities were aware about the real estate development nearer to outlet of Kanjia Lake, NZP director nodded in conformity saying attention of district administration which was actually regulator of land had been drawn many times.

“We cannot go and ask people to stop construction of houses which may affect normal outflow of the lake,” he said.