From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Cattle Island
Mains level : Not Much
The Odisha Forest and Environment Department is all set to begin ‘Island Odyssey’ and ‘Hirakud Cruise’ ecotourism packages for tourists to islands inside the reservoir.
- ‘Cattle island’, one of three islands in the Hirakud reservoir, has been selected as a sight-seeing destination.
- When large numbers of people were displaced from their villages when the Hirakud dam was constructed on the Mahanadi river in 1950s, villagers could not take their cattle with them.
- They left their cattle behind in deserted villages.
- As the area started to submerge following the dam’s construction, the cattle moved up to Bhujapahad, an elevated place in the Telia Panchayat under Lakhanpur block of Jharsuguda district.
- Subsequently named ‘Cattle island’, it’s surrounded by a vast sheet of water.
- Then there is an “island of bats”, also within the reservoir, just 1 km away from the Debrigarh ecotourism project.
- It is the habitat of hundreds of bats.
- Tourists also get a magnificent view of the sunset from the reservoir. ‘Sunset island’ is one of the three stops on the unique boat ride.