Chilika Lake to be freed of sound pollution

Chilika, considered as the biggest water lagoon in the country, will be freed from sound pollution soon.

Berhampur (Orissa): Chilika, considered
as the biggest water lagoon in the country, will be freed from
sound pollution soon.

The Chilika Development Authority (CDA) has taken
initiatives to motivate the boat operators to use the
noiseless mechanised boats in the blue lagoon, an official
said on Tuesday.

The National Innovation Foundation (NIF), Ahemedabad
under the Department of Science and Technology, Central
government has agreed to provide the technical know-how to the
innovators to redesign their boats to operate in the lake.

The initiative was taken when Finance Commission Chairman
Vijay Kelkar, who visited the lake in February was pointed out
that noise pollution in Chilika was a disturbance to
the visitors as well as the denizens of the lake, the official

An estimated over 4000 mechanised boats operate in the
1165 sq. km vast lake for fishing and to carry tourists. The
boat operators generally used 9HP Greaves marine diesel
engines in the mechanised boats.

The engines are noisy and the noise level goes beyond 90
decible, which is detrimental to the dolphin population,
creating considerable disturbances for migratory birds and
also beyond the permissible level of the 80 decible for human
beings, an environmentalist points out.

Chilika is the largest wintering ground for the
migratory waterfowl and about 10 lakh birds of 225 species
congregate in the lagoon in winter.

The lake also harbours the largest lagoon population of
Irrawadi dolphin (146 in 2009) in the world.

A team of innovators and engineers of the NIF had
visited Chilika and inspected the boats recently and
have also discussed the problems with the stakeholders. The
team stressed on designing sound-proof casing for
the boat engine to reduce the present level of noise, said the
chief executive of the CDA Ajit Patnaik.

They have also suggested modifications of the engine.
The innovators would work individually on the engine casing
and silencer at their workshop, he said. The NIF would
co-ordinate and suggest when they are ready to come to Chilika
to develop a prototype.

CDA will provide logistic support including boat,
boat engine, and travel expenses of innovators and expenses
for buying articles, instruments, accessories and provide
accommodation for developing the prototype, Patnaik said.

NIF has also agreed to co-ordinate with the engine
manufacturer for exploring the possibility of tepid
modification, he added.

Bureau Report