The proposed sea plane project in Chilika is gathering controversy as local leaders have raised voice against it citing concerns on the ecology and economy associated with the lake.
Sanjay Das Burma, the Brahmagiri legislator belonging to the ruling BJD asked the plan to be reconsidered citing it would have an adverse effect on biodiversity of chilika that is home to 375 species of fishes, 230 species of birds and 170 dolphins. He further added that the water aerodrome project would destroy the livelihood of 2lakh families of fishermen depending Chilika.
Maheswar Mohanty Revenue Minister in the Government of Odisha has also expressed antagonistic remarks on this project of the Central government aimed at exploiting tourism potential of Chilika.He said; there is no need to fly planes by endangering the biodiversity of Chilika.
Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has disapproved such emerging resistance from the Minister of the ruling party. He said, the protest against the sea aerodrome is not in the interest of Odisha.
The sea plane project will enhance the tourism scope of Chilika and will create employment opportunities, said the Minister. “Only experts can make right remark on the issues of biodiversity.” The Central Government has set up an expert committee to make the feasibility report on the project. The Chilika Development and the Meteorology and Hydrological Department of Government of Odisha are part of the committee to make the feasible report.
On Friday last week the Union Minister for Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu had approved proposal in principle to set up water aerodromes with Odisha, Gujurat, Maharashtra, Assam and Andhra Pradesh being identified for the project. .