As lakhs of migratory birds settled into their winter abodes across Orissa, the state government is keeping a watch on hotels here to prevent them from including bird's meat on their menus.
Chief Minister Navin Patnaik, who is also in charge of the forest and environment department, took the initiative after allegations that some reputed city-based hotels and roadside 'dhabas' were serving bird meat to customers.
A prestigious club in the city was also earlier accused of serving bird meat dishes to guests, an official said. A plate a rare bird meat was sold at a price of Rs 500.
"The officials had been directed to remain vigilant on the possible cooking of birds' meat in menus of different hotels including star ones," Patnaik said.
While the state had fixed census of migratory birds on January 5 and 6, over 5.12 lakh migratory birds, mostly from Siberian countries, had already reached the Chilika lake.
The number of migratory birds in Chilika could touch 10 lakh by the first week of January, a senior forest department official said.
The official said that migratory birds mostly assemble in Chilika lake, Bhitarkania National Park area and water reservoir in Hirakud dam.