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Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: Odisha government will spend Rs 158 crore for the overall development of Chilika lake in next five years. The development project which aims at conserving the bio-diversity and provide livelihood support to two lakh fishermen of 151 villages around the Chilika lake.

A master plan in this regard was approved at a high-level meeting of the State Wetlands Authority chaired by Odisha Forest and Environment Minister Bikram Keshari Arukha here on Saturday.

Apart from Chilika, the State Wetlands Authority also decided to take up concrete measures for the safety, security, conservation of bio-diversity at Bhitarakanika and Anshupa Lake.

"Major wetlands like Chilika, Bhitarkanika and Ansupa will be developed in a systematic manner in the next five years," said Forest and Environment Minister Bikram Keshari Arukha.

As per official sources, a budgetary allocation of Rs  21.23 crore has been made for development of Ansupa lake. This will benefit about 250 fishermen residing in the nearby two villages.

Similarly, plans are also being made for over two lakh people living in 410 villages near Bhitarkanika National Park which spreads over 672 square kilometres.

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