Chilika Lake to be freed of sound pollution

Chilika Lake to be freed of sound pollution 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 said.

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