Chilika Development Authority Kills Seaplane Project
The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has dropped the proposed water aerodrome project at Chilika Lake in Odisha. According to a senior official, the risk of irrevocable damage to the ecosystem and livelihood of people dependent on it is cited as reason.
Susanta Nanda, Chief Executive of the CDA, told reporters Monday that the AAI has cancelled the seaplane project on the lake. Supposedly, bringing in seaplanes would have negatively impacted the ecosystem and the surrounding human population at the world’s second largest brackish water lake.
The AAI has decided to shelve the project following stiff opposition from environmentalists and the CDA, according to Nanda. The Odisha government has been informed by the aviation body about the decision, the officer told. Earlier, the CDA in its report to state government had said that the water aerodrome project would seriously jeopardize the habitat of Chilika’s nearly one million bird visitors. Birds migrate from the Arctic and Eurasian regions.
“The cost involved in the operation of seaplanes seems to outweigh the benefits likely to accrue from it” Nanda argues. The CDA Chief also thinks that the project is unfeasible from a legal perspective.