Odisha Lakes: Chillika and Ansupa

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Context: Odisha Wetland Authority has approved the implementation of an integrated management plan for Chilka and Ansupa for strengthening the livelihood of thousands of fishermen relying on the two water bodies.


  • It comprises of Marine Brackish and Freshwater Ecosystems
  • It is a shallow Lagoon and is the largest lagoon in India (It is separated from a larger water body, the Bay of Bengal by a narrow strip of land
  • It lies in Odisha and covers Puri Khurda and Ganjam Districts
  • One of the main islands in Chilika Lake called the Nalaban Island is also a designated Bird Sanctuary under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972
  • Insource lake in Chilika is made up of 52 River and Rivulets, one of them being the Daya river.
  • It is also the Largest Wintering Ground for the Migratory waterfowl in the Indian Subcontinent. (These Migratory Bords are protected under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972)
  • It is a designated Ramsar site, and hence is a wetland of International Importance
  • Chilika lake was also included in the Montreaux record in 1993 but was later removed in 2002, and became the first site in Asia, due to the successful restoration by the Chilika Development Authority.


  • It is the only freshwater lake of Odisha. It is an ox-bow lake of Mahanadi River.
  • It is situated on the left bank of Mahanadi river in Cuttack district, Odisha
  • it has been dying a slow death. It is filled with silt and sludge due to the State Government’s apathy and has thus lost its tourism potential as weeds gradually took over it.
  • Earlier, floodwater from Mahanadi used to enter Ansupa through a channel called Mayurinala, thereby clearing the weeds automatically. But this the channel was deactivated after Mahanadi embankment was raised following the 1982 and 1985 floods.
  • Besides, a huge amount of sand, soil and debris-mixed rainwater from Saranda hill (western side) and Gunjar hill (north-eastern side) have filled the lake with silt. 
  • In a bid to revive the lake, the CDA (Chilika Development Authority) has launched a comprehensive de-weeding process by using an Amphibious Weed Harvester procured by Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project (ICZMP).

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