Odisha govt to spend Rs 158 crore for lake development

Chilika lake. (DH Photo)

Odisha government on Saturday decided to spend Rs 158 crore for the overall development of Chilika lake in the next five years, official sources said.

The decision in this regard was taken at a high-level meeting of the State Wetlands Authority chaired by Odisha Forest and Environment Minister BK Arukha here.

Chilika lake, the lone brackish water lagoon in Asia, is spread over 1,100 square kilometres in three districts of Khurda, Puri and Ganjam. As many as 335 species of fish found in the lake which has been designated as a Ramsar site (Wetland of International importance).

The amount to be spent for conserving the biodiversity of the lake and make provision of livelihood support to about two lakh fishermen of 151 villages around the Chilika lake.

The government has prepared a five-year integrated plan for the development of the Chilika lake.

The meeting also made a budgetary allocation of Rs 21.23 crore for development of Ansupa lake. This will benefit about 250 fishermen residing in the nearby two villages.

Similarly, plans are also being made for over two lakh people living in 410 villages near Bhitarkanika National Park spread over 672 square kilometres, an official said. 

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