Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Feb 25:
Chief minister Naveen Patnaik today said the state government is committed to the welfare of the Chilika fishermen’s community.
Presiding over the 13th governing body meeting of the Chilika Development Authority (CDA) at the State Secretariat here, he said renovation of Chilika lake has resulted in the increase in fish production.
To ensure socio-economic development of the fishermen’s community, the chief minister said the CDA need to take constructive steps for the empowerment of the Chilika Fishermen Primary Cooperative Societies, preservation and marketing of fish.
The chief minister also said the state government is expediting the process for enactment of Chilika (Regulation of Fisheries) Bill for the protection of the lake and a long-term fish production.
The meeting revealed that the state government has approved a master plan for tourism development at ten places inside the lake and its periphery, and sanctioned Rs 1.10 crore for integrated lake basin management for the year 2014-15 in which watershed and other programme would be taken up in Ranpur and Banpur blocks.
The meeting approved the proposal of the Switzerland-based Ramsar Convention Secretariat for formation of Ramsar Regional Centre for South Asia at Chilika which would enhance the importance of the lake in the management of wetlands in South Asia region.
The meeting also decided to form a committee to oversee implementation of the programmes on lake tourism and safe livelihood of the fishermen.
The chief minister later approved Rs 26.74 crore annual plan outlay for the CDA for 2014-15 fiscal.
He also felicitated Dr Priyambada Mohanty (Hejmadi) with a cash award of Rs 2 lakh, a citation and memento for her profound contribution to the wildlife conservation in the state.
Among others, Forest and Environment minister Bikram Keshari Arukh, Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare minister Sanjay Dasburma, chief secretary GC Pati, Development Commissioner UN Behera, officials of the concerned departments and CDA members were present.