Home India News Naveen Patnaik seeks wetlands research centre at Chilika

Naveen Patnaik seeks wetlands research centre at Chilika


Bhubaneswar : Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has requested the central government to set up a dedicated research centre for management of wetlands and coastal ecosystems at Chilika Lake, Asia’s largest saltwater lake, an official statement said here Friday evening.

Patnaik met Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh in New Delhi Thursday and suggested that a ‘National Research Institute for Management of Wetlands and Coastal Ecosystems’ be established, the chief minister’s office said.

Citing that no dedicated research centre in this environmentally important subject was available, Patnaik pointed out that the infrastructure created in the state and the expertise available with Chilika Development Authority (CDA) could be extremely useful in starting such a national institute.

“The Union minister welcomed the proposal and asked the ministry officials to jointly work with the state government officials to formulate the plan,” the official statement said.

Located 100 km from state capital Bhubaneswar, Chilika is known to support the largest concentration of migratory waterfowl in India.

At least a million birds are seen at the lake every winter. They belong to 165 species, of which 93 are migratory and 72 are residential.

Patnaik also highlighted the need for a National Mangrove Research Institute in Orissa as mangroves along the coast help in preventing the damage wrought by tsunami and cyclones.

The chief minister said that “the National Mangrove Research Centre could also monitor the impact of the sea level rise, cyclone-associated tidal surges and other anthropogenic pressures on mangroves”, the statement said.