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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: The incidence of bird hits in Biju Patnaik International Airport in the capital city has substantially come down in the last few months, said chief secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi.

Briefing media persons after presiding over a meeting of Airport Environment Management Committee at the State Secretariat here today, he said the main concern of the city airport was the bird hits. “However, due to our efforts in the last few months, the number of bird hits has come down appreciably,” he added.

Padhi said the meeting also decided to take other steps like drainage, tree pruning, disposal of garbage from the slums in airport periphery, regulate open sale of meat, fish and chicken by unauthorised and unregistered shops.

“To take up the aforesaid activities a six-month action plan was drawn up at the meeting to further bring down the incidence of bird hits,” he informed.

The chief secretary also said specific instructions have been given to the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC), Commissionerate Police, Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT) as well as the Forest and Environment department to put up their combined efforts to bring down the bird flu incidence in the city airport. All of them have taken adequate steps in this regard since last one year.

He, however, said this is a continuous process. We have to keep constant watch to ensure that there will be no incident of bird hits in the airport in future. “Basically, it is a risk management job and we have to constantly monitor the situation,” Padhi noted.

Director of the airport, Ramaswami Mahalingam, said such meetings are held in every six months to take stock of the bird hazards and animal management in the airport periphery.

“We had our last meeting in May last year and since then a lot of improvement has been made. We have solved the drainage issue. This was a major problem as birds are generally found where there is water. Since there was drainage problem, the water used to stagnate and attract more birds. Now drainage work is completed and the water is smoothly flowing under it, there is no water stagnation. As a result, the number of birds in the airport periphery has drastically come down,” he said, while thanking the BMC and the state government for their sincere cooperation.

One of the major problems was the dumping of garbage in the open by the people living in the vicinity of the airport. To sensitise them the airport authority, in association with BMC, has taken up awareness campaign and as a result, there has been proper garbage management in airport periphery. This process will continue. I want that the people living nearby the airport should cooperate with us to make the airport safe,” Mahalingam said.

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