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Impact on Environment

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Orissa has some of the largest mass-nesting areas in the world for the Olive Ridley Turtle, an endangered species. The proposed POSCO port site lies between the mass nesting beaches of Gahirmata and Devi River mouth where the offshore waters have a high density of turtles from November to April. In 2007, 130,000 of these animals nested at the beaches along the Gahirmata Marine Sanctuary. The port itself will lie just inland from beaches on which turtle nesting occurs, and less than 30 km from the mass nesting beaches of Devi. Lighting, marine pollution, ship traffic and ancillary development of what is currently largely untouched coastline will pose a long term threat to the species. Similarly, the proposed port will endanger several species of fish in the Jatadhari estuary, additionally impacting the livelihoods of fishing communities.

The project involves the felling over 280,000 trees which will directly affect the dense forest covers in the Gandhamardhan and Malangatoli areas. Mining will also affect the Kandadhar waterfall, a famed tourist destination. The new port might entail erosion , thereby threatening the existing government port in Paradeep POSCO has applied for environmental clearance for different parts of the project separately rather than as a whole in the hope of expediting clearance.

Written by janjagriti

October 12, 2008 at 8:02 pm

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