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New mouth opens at Odisha’s Chilika lagoon after cyclonic storm DAYE

A government official said the 180 meters long mouth will enhance the livelihood and tourism in the area.

india Updated: Sep 26, 2018 21:18 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Chilika lagoon,Chilika lake,Odhia
A black-winged stilt migratory bird in Chilika lake.(HT File Photo)

Much to the delight of fishermen and tourists, a new natural mouth has opened at the Chilika lagoon in Odisha following last week’s cyclonic storm ‘Daye’, a state government official said Wednesday.

The new active sea mouth is located about 2.5 km north of the existing one at Arakhakuda.

“Month-long rainfall, cyclone Daye and free flowing of rivers from north due to eviction of prawn ‘gheries’ could be the major reason for creation of the new mouth,” said Susant Nanda, Chief Executive of Chilika Development Authority (CDA).

Nanda said the 180 meters long mouth will enhance the livelihood and tourism in the area. It will also help enhance the fish production in the lagoon, he said.

Nearly two lakh people depend on fishing in Chilika lake.

Nanda maintained that the existing old mouth is measured at 1,800 sq metre whereas the new mouth is only about 180 metre long and about 3-4 metre deep.

“This will have positive impact on the ecology and biodiversity of the lagoon,” Nanda said adding that more nutrients, more salinity influx and juvenile fish migration from sea will noe be possible.

Nanda said it is very rare to have two active mouths in any lagoon.

Chilika had three mouths way back in 1971 when a super cyclone struck the state. After that, multiple active mouths have not been noticed. In fact, even after the 1999 Super Cyclone, no new natural mouth was created, Nanda said.

The CDA said the new mouth was confirmed after analysing the discharge through flow metres.

First Published: Sep 26, 2018 21:16 IST