Bhubaneswar Bureau

Bhubaneswar, Jan.31,2003

Even as an IAS officer of principal secretary rank, Mr. Priyabrata Patnaik has yet to convince the public that he has not caused death of a hundred migratory birds in Chilika for a cordon bleu in Bhubaneswar club to celebrate his birthday, a team of five senior IAS officers have tried to belittle the graveness of the danger to the feathered guests from rampant poaching.

Taking feedback from local fishermen to the extent that they are getting better catch than the previous year, the IAS officers who in a team visited Chilika on January 23, have informed the Home Secretary in a signed report that decline in visit of birds to the lake cannot be believed as food for them is available in plenty. Poaching was causing decline in migration, it has always been alleged.

It is surprising that the team which included the Secretary to Chief Minister Mr. J. K. Mohapatra, SC/ST development Secretary A. S. Sarangi, Industries Secretary S. P. Nanda, M.D. of OSDMA Arabinda Behera and C.M.D. of IDCOL Hrushikesh Panda could not know of any poaching of birds even though the sordid business is so widespread that road side eateries are offering bird meat even as hunters are selling dead birds to bus passengers in the Balugan bazaar. Mention may be made of Bishnu Nayak, a road side dhaba owner in Tangi area has been arrested by a combine of forest and police officials for selling cooked meat of migratory birds and 3 kgs.of meat has been seized.

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