Khordha:5/8/17: A 151-year-old canal bearing the signature of British engineering technology has finally been refurbished to rejuvenate the depleting fish resources in Chilika, Asia’s largest brackish water lake off Bay of Bengal coast.
The canal is a classic case of marvellous British navigational engineering technology. Though it was dug out 150 years back, it continues to be a zero-gravity canal despite man-made barriers. The tidal height of tide in the canal water has a unique character maintaining uniformity at the mouth as also at the tail-end. The canal is a vital channel link as fish species migrate from sea to Chilika lake through the canal
21-KM-long Palur Canal, which was dug out during the infamous famine known as Na-anka Durbhikya in 1866 by the British, was subjected to wanton man-made barriers in the form of prawn dykes. As a result, the natural flow of water into Chilika was being plugged adversely affecting the fragile ecosystem of the brackish water lake and its aquatic animals and fish reserve.
In a massive exercise, Chilika Development Authority (CDA) has largely managed to make choke canal free from prawn dyke encroachment.