Patrolling intensified along Chilika Lake

Berhampur: Patrolling around the famous Chilika Lake in Odisha has been intensified to curb poaching ahead of ‘Chhadakhai’ tomorrow.

There is a huge demand for meat, chicken, egg and fish on Chhadakhai, which falls after Kartika Purnima. Hindus refrain from eating non-vegetarian food during the month of Kartika and after the full moon, which falls today, they eat non-vegetarian delicacies.

Since waterfowls are eaten in Balugaon, Berhampur, Khurda and Bhubaneswar, poaching activities increase during this period, wildlife officials said.

“Seventeen camps with 90 personnel have been set up along the 16-km coastline. Two boats and vehicles are being used for patrolling the lake,” Divisional Forest Officer (Chilika), Bikash Ranjan Das, said.

Wildlife personnel are keeping a strict watch on Mangalajodi, Sorana and Nalabana, which play host to winged guests, the DFO added.

Wildlife officials said around 1 lakh birds have arrived at Chilika for their winter sojourn.

Ornithologists attributed the early migration of birds to snowfall at their native places, non-availability of food and recent flood in Jammu and Kashmir.

The birds, mostly from beyond the Himalayas in the Northern Eurasia, Caspian region, Siberia, Kazakh, Lake Baikal and remote areas of Russia and neighboring countries, visit Chilika every winter and start their homeward journey before the onset of summer, the sources said.