Sunday, 07 January 2018 | PNS | Dehradun-
The Union minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Dharmendra Pradhan inaugurated a symposium and photo exhibition titled ‘The Mangalajodi Inheritance”, organised by ONGC in association with the Bhubaneswar Bird Walks at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi on Saturday.
The objective of the symposium and photo exhibition is to bring together opinions of experts from diverse fields to strategize a way forward towards Chilika – The largest brackish water lake – to obtain heritage status from UNESCO, the organizers said.
Pradhan accompanied by Kenji Hiramatsu -Japanese Ambassador to India, Shashi Shanker- CMD ONGC, Narendra Verma- MD ONGC Videsh and D D Misra – Director (HR), ONGC visited the photo exhibition that displays the photographs clicked by a noted wildlife photographer Avinash Khemka,
Pradhan highlighted that the Chilika ecosystem is an integral part of the Odia psyche, history and culture and therefore its preservation is crucial. “Chilika has immense potential to be developed as an eco-tourism destination. ONGC has shown great passion in taking up the project for conservation and holistic development of Chilika, and for accordance of status of UNESCO ‘World Heritage Site’ for Chilika Lake. It is a commendable initiative”, he said. “India is committed to fulfill its responsibilities towards lowering carbon footprint under the leadership of the Prime Minister by building an ecological economy to ensure sustainable development,” he said. The minister appreciated the public sector oil companies for playing a stellar role to accomplish the objective. From environment protection to focus on bio-fuels and 2nd Gen ethanol fuel, many initiatives have been taken, he recalled.
The Japanese Ambassador to India Kenji Hiramatsu appreciated India’s role in conservation of bio-diversity in Chilika and reaffirmed Japan’s support towards skill development, knowledge transfer and technology induction.
Shashi Shanker, CMD, ONGC, said that ONGC has taken many initiatives towards environment conservation such as plantation of Ringal Bamboos in Himalayas, Mangrove plantation on the western coast, and many heritage conservation projects. The project at Chilika is one such intervention, he said.