February 19, 2012

Climate Change Impact may force Olive Ridley Turtles to abandon Odisha beaches for mass nesting

Higher degree of erosion at many points of Odisha's coastline poses serious threat to the routine activities of marine turtles and raises doubts about the continuity of the tradition of mass nesting by the Olive Ridley marine turtles called ‘Arribada’. The nesting grounds are being squeezed alarmingly and the coastal vegetation that plays a vital role in providing food to lakhs of mother turtles and their hatchlings is vanishing rapidly because of coastal erosion and aggressive persuasion of development projects like port infrastructure by Odisha government across the coastline. In regard to the nesting activities this season (2012), things look quite uncertain as the beaches near Gahirmatha river mouth, Devi river mouth and Rushikulya river mouth, that have been the regular nesting grounds for the turtles, have lost most of their space in the Bay of Bengal because of erosion. 

August 04, 2011

POSCO's Orissa Project is not all about Steel


More than just industrialisation and economic development, POSCO's Orissa Project has become a political phenomenon with South Korean president trying to push it as an agenda in diplomatic talks and the Prime Minister’s Office in India expressing its support to the project undermining the public opposition on the ground since last six years. Even without a valid MoU, POSCO was given environmental clearances by the union ministry of India to go ahead with its project works at the proposed area near Paradeep and Orissa government started acquiring land for the POSCO Project. One has to check, if such things are possible in any other country across the globe just to honour a large foreign investment.

April 10, 2011

Gandhamardan: The Bauxite Battleground

At 58, Jambavati Birja of Dunguripali village near Paikmal in Bargarh district of Orissa has a reason to be upset. The news of big companies making their way to dig out bauxite from Gandhamardan hill range has turned into a nightmare for Jambavati and her husband Iswar who have lost almost everything in their fight to save the hill range that is the abode of their God Nrusinghanath.

November 29, 2010

The Price of Development: Ports Versus the Turtle Breeding Grounds of Orissa

Though Olive Ridley Sea Turtles are found throughout the world, Orissa – an eastern coastline state of India, is the single largest rookery or breeding ground in the world for these turtles which migrate from the Indian Ocean through the Bay of Bengal every year for mating and nesting. Worshipped by most small fishermen as an incarnation of one of their gods and left alone, the turtles are nevertheless caught as by-catch in gillnets or by trawlers.  How is large scale industrialisation along the coasts going to affect the turtles and the other species in the unique mudflat ecology?  One of the ports, the controversial Dhamra Port, a tie-up between Indian corporate giants Larsen & Toubro and TATA has also been the target of a Greenpeace campaign.