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Marine experts appeal to Jairam Ramesh on proposed POSCO port

 


PRESS BRIEF

8.11.10

In the wake of the Vedanta scandal comes another multinational industrial project of epic proportions threatening both local communities and their environment. Although an Avatar-sized war is yet to be waged, reinforcements are on their way with several scientists, conservationists and concerned citizens standing up against the proposed POSCO project along the coast of Orissa. The POSCO steel plant proposes to build a port just 12 km south of Paradip and just 25 km north of the Devi River Mouth which is recorded mass nesting site for endangered olive ridley turtles. Besides disrupting the annual congregations and migration of sea turtles in this area, the port also poses a risk of environmental damage through its impacts on the coast and potential spills of various chemicals including oil. The MoEF committee commissioned to investigate the POSCO’s adherence to stipulations found that nearly all environmental laws were flouted and clearly stated that the forest clearance given to the project was illegal. Despite this, the Ministry of Environment and Forests have not completely ruled out the possibility that the project will continue. In order to show solidarity with the thousands of locals protesting their forced relocation, and to highlight the critical nature of ecologically sensitive area that will be damaged by these projects, a group of over 300 turtle biologists and enthusiasts raised their concerns regarding unplanned port development in Orissa at the International Sea Turtle Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation in Goa earlier this year. 

As these were not heeded, several scientists and conservationists including Dr. Kartik Shanker Indian Institute of Science, Romulus Whitaker, Madras Crocodile Bank Trust, Dr. Bivash Pandav and Dr. Sejal Worah, WWF, Biswajit Mohanty, Belinda Wright, Mitali Dutt Kakkar and several others have put together a letter for the MoEF, listing their concerns with POSCO's proposed port. This letter was sent to Mr Jairam Ramesh, Minister of Environment and Forests, appealing for an enquiry into the CRZ
clearances granted to the project citing faulty and incomplete impact assessment procedures and making a fervent plea for the protection of Orissa's natural heritage, under threat from rampant port development..

Link to text of the letter

Online petition

 

 

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