Bhubaneswar, Jan. 19: The migratory birds flew all the way from Siberia to Chilka lake and, allegedly, on to the dinner plates at Bhubaneswar Club.
According to Indian Bird Conservation Network’s state coordinator Biswajit Mohanty, also a leading environmentalist, around 100 waterfowls from the lake were obtained from poachers, cooked and served at a dinner party at the club on Friday.
Among the birthday party revellers were some senior IAS officers of the state and journalists of two leading English-language dailies, he said. The 100 waterfowls were among the hundreds of thousands that had visited the lake.
Mohanty, in a letter to chief minister Naveen Patnaik (letter no. IBCN/01/2003 of January 19), requested a CBI inquiry into the serving of meat allegedly of protected bird species.
When contacted, the club’s vice-president, Priyabrata Patnaik, also a senior IAS officer, became furious and turned abusive on hearing about the allegations.
“I have received information that birds (mostly gadwalls, shoevellers, wigeons, pochards and pintails) which are “protected species” under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, were obtained from poachers operating in Chilka lake,” Mohanty wrote.
“Of late, poaching has emerged as a serious threat to the migratory waterfowl arriving at Chilka lake, which is also a designated Ramsar site being a wetland of international importance.”