Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan today apprised Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik about the joint initiatives United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC) plan to take up to develop Chilika Lake as World Heritage site and preserve the ecosystem around it.

In a letter to Patnaik, the Union Minister sought his support and guidance in this regard. "I am writing you for soliciting your support in taking up various development works in the area", he stated.

"UNESCO in association with ONGC is planning to support the development of Chilika Lake as UNESCO World Heritage site and enhance the value of Chilika to become a brand conservation linked sustainable development in the State", the letter read.

Pradhan further informed that he had met UNESCO director Shigeru Aoyagi on May 29 and discussed the programmes to conserve and develop the country's largest coastal lagoon.

Urging the CM to meet Aoyagi, who is visiting Bhubaneswar on Tuesday, to crystallize the initiatives, the Oil minister said mentorship and guidance of ministry of Forest & Environment and Culture is also greatly needed in this regard and promised to write to these ministries with similar request.

Besides, ONGC and UNESCO are also planning long term and short term measures for protection of animals and birds, improving livelihood of fishing community, tourist guides etc in the lake area, he stated.

UNESCO has also proposed to set up a world class conservation centre with climate change observatory with state-of-art data and monitoring facilities, the minister informed.

Also Read: Odisha Prepares Master Plan for Chilika Development

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