Water aerodrome: BJD, BJP indulge in tug of war to prove one-upmanship

Bhubaneswar: A day after the Civil Aviation Ministry approved the proposal to set up a water aerodrome on Chilika lake in Odisha, the BJD and the BJP on Monday engaged in a political slugfest over the project.

While the BJD today raised concerns over the impact of the project on marine species and biodiversity, the saffron party hit back terming the act as an attempt to jeopardise creation of employment opportunities for the youths of Odisha.

Brahmagiri MLA Sanjay Das Burma said that the project will have an adverse effect on 375 species of fishes, 230 species of birds and 170 Dolphins.

The BJD MLA further said, “The water aerodrome project will pose a threat to the livelihood of 2 lakh fishermen families. So, the Centre should reconsider its proposal.”

In response, Odisha BJP vice president Samir Mohanty alleged that the BJD’s objective is to thwart the development works of the NDA government in Odisha.

“Without knowing the details, why are they making a mountain out of a molehill? It seems the ultimate goal of the BJD government is to oppose each and every welfare project of the Modi government,” added Mohanty.

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On the other hand, State Revenue Minister Maheshwar Mohanty said “If the project will have any impact on biodiversity, we will not allow it,” he said.

Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan criticised Mohanty’s statement and said such objection is not in Odisha’s interest.

“This type of protest, I think, is not in the interest of the State and its youths,” Pradhan said.

Apart from Odisha, the Airports Authority of India has already identified sites in Gujarat, Assam, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh for water aerodrome projects.