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HC orders demolition of jetties in Chilika

(image) Bhubaneswar: Orissa High Court on Friday ordered to evict and demolish all the illegal jetties in the Chilika Lake that have come up within one kilometer of the brackish water lagoon.

As per the court’s directive, the illegal jetties within an area of one kilometer from the lake bank will be evicted and demolished. It also directed the administration to formulate policies and to ensure that the local fishermen’s livelihood earned through fishing in the Chilika doesn’t get hindered.

“The HC directed to evict and demolish all the jetties in the lake within an area of one kilometer from its bank. The HC also directed the administration to provide security to the fishermen in Chilika,” lawyer Sukant Kumar Dalai said.

Meanwhile, the fishermen for whom fishing in the lake has been a traditional affair have welcomed the High Court’s verdict but under apprehension.

As per Chilika Mastchyajibee Mahasangha, earlier many a times orders had been issued to remove the jetties, but there had been no permanent solution to the problem. Hence, the Mahasangha demanded for a permanent solution to the issue by following the Supreme Court’s judgment in 1997.

“We welcome the High Court’s decision but the directive should be strictly reinforced,” President of Chilika Mastchyajibee Mahasangha Murali Behera said.

Similarly, senior BJP leader Biswa Bhushan Harichandan welcomed the High Court’s decision.

“The most important thing is that the government should form certain laws and protect the rights of the concerned people and implement the directions issued by the HC,” senior BJP leader Biswa Bhushan Harichandan said.

In addition to it, Revenue Minister Surya Narayan Patra stressed on evicting the illegal jetties after the High Court’s judgement.

“The HC has issued a stipulated order that we are bound to follow. We had evicted the jetties earlier, but after the HC’s verdict the jetties will definitely be demolished.

Earlier, Chilika Mastchyajibee Mahasangha had demolished the jetties on around 10,000 acre of the brackish water body near Nalabana and Hatabaredi in Khurda district. Chilika, which also extends to Puri and Ganjam districts, encounters the similar problem of illegal jetties, strangling the lake`s vast areas since decades.

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