Patrolling has been intensified along the Chilika Lake in Odisha to apprehend poachers in view of the ‘Chhadakhai’ on Friday, when there will be huge demand for meat, chicken, egg and fish on Kartika Purnima.
Hindus refrain from non-vegetarian food during Kartika month in Hindu calendar and after its completion on the full moon, they rush to eat fish caught from the Chilika late.
There is a huge demand for fish in Balugaon, Berhampur, Khurda and Bhubaneswar in Odisha during this period, say officials and poaching activities double to meet the demand.
“Seventeen camps with 90 personnel have been set up along the 16-km coastline. Two boats and vehicles are being used for patrolling the lake,” Divisional Forest Officer Bikash Ranjan Das said.
Wildlife personnel are deployed to keep a strict vigil on Mangalajodi, Sorana and Nalabana, which host about one lakh birds visiting the Chilika lake during this season, the DFO said.
These birds visit Chilika for their winter sojourn and this, ornithologists said the migration of birds took place early owing to the snowfall in their native Himalayas, coupled with less food availability. Even the recent floods in Jammu and Kashmir prompted many of these winged visitors to Chilika lake.
Some birds come from faraway places like the Northern Eurasia, Caspian region, Siberia, Kazakh, Lake Baikal and remote areas of Russia to visit Chilika during the winter and return home before the onset of summer.