Centre drops seaplane proposal in Chilika Lake

Seaplane landing at Chilika Lake irks Odisha govt

Bhubaneswar: An undeclared landing of a seaplane on the Chilika Lake left locals in panic and confused in Khurda district while the Odisha government on Sunday said it would affect the rich biodiversity around the Chilika Lake, Asia’s largest brackish water lagoon.

The seaplane landed on the waters of Chilika near Nanganasi mouth of the lake on Saturday afternoon. The incident took place at around 1.30 pm. It then took off after a stay of over 15 minutes, said sources.

Tourism minister Ashok Chandra Panda said it will affect the livelihood of fishermen and biodiversity of Chilika Lake.

“I came to know about the landing of a seaplane in Chilika from media. If the incident is true, then it is not at all acceptable. The landing of seaplane would negatively impact the ecosystem and the surrounding human population. I will take up the matter with the Forest and Environment department,” said Panda.

The villagers of Arakhakuda and Sanapatna villages were panicked after hearing a loud noise coming out from the seaplane.

“We saw the seaplane landing in the lake with a loud noise that could be heard till a distance of about 2 km. But the plane left the lake after 15 minutes,” the people of Arakhakuda village told the media on Sunday.

Besides, some fishermen of Sanapatana village said they had seen the plane landing near the Nanganasi mouth of the lake.

The police and the district administration have any information regarding the landing of the seaplane.

The incident was reported after Centre dropped the proposed water aerodrome project at the Chilika Lake after drawing flak from various quarters.