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Suryakant Jena

The Orissa High Court on Tuesday shot notices to Odisha government and Chilika Development Authority in connection with public interest litigation (PIL) seeking steps to free noise pollution from the wetland areas of Chilika, Asia's second-largest brackish water lagoon.

Taking serious cognizance of the matter, the Chief Justice of Orissa HC has asked the Chief Executive Officer of the CDA to appear before the court in person and reply in connection with the allegation of rise in noise pollution in Chilika due to use of motor boats.

The State Forest and Environment department, Chilika Divisional Forest Officer, and Khordha Collector have been made parties in the matter.

The court's direction comes following a PIL filed by Dibakar Behera, a local resident of Mangalajodi who has alleged in his plea that the relentless use of motor boats for fishing in the silent waters of the lagoon majorly disturbs the migratory birds.

In the plea, the petitioner has requested the court to order complete restriction on the operation of deisel-run motor boats and instruct the Chilika authorities to take stringent action against the violators of the guidelines and those illegally operating such boats.

"Mangalajodi is ecologically a very sensitive and silent zone. But use of motor boats by fishermen in the lagoon is adversely affecting the roosting of migratory birds in the region. The High Court Chief Justice has seriously taken the matter into consideration and asked the CEO of Chilika Development Authority to appear in person before the court on February 11," informed Asish Mishra, the counsel appearing for the petitioner.

Chilika is the largest wintering ground for the migratory waterfowl and lakhs of winged species which congregate in the lagoon every year.

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