The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has dropped the proposed water aerodrome project at Chilika Lake in Odisha, according to a senior official. Susanta Nanda, Chief Executive of the Chilika Development Authority (CDA), told reporters Monday that the AAI has cancelled the seaplane project in the lake which, if implemented, 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 PTI. Earlier, the CDA in its report to the state government had said that the water aerodrome project would seriously jeopardise the habitat of Chilika’s nearly one million avian visitors which come from the Arctic and Eurasian regions.
“Operation of seaplane and water aerodrome at Chilika is likely to cause irrevocable damage to the ecosystem and livelihood of people dependent on it. “The cost involved in the operation of seaplane seems to outweigh the benefits likely to accrue from it. Besides, legally the project is not feasible,” the CDA chief executive had stated in the report.