Tata’s Port to Obliterate Endangered Turtles
With the present climatic changes becoming prominent and the need to respect mother nature the Tata Steel company is not paying heed to the thousands of concerned citizens in India. The Tatas are going ahead with a Steel port at Dhamra in Orissa that will adversely affect the biodiversity in that region.
When confronted by Greenpeace, Tata promised it would abandon the port ‘if evidence of turtle presence and the ecological significance of the area were ever unearthed.’
Dhamra port is now being built in proximity to the Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary, on the northern coast of Orissa, India. Gahirmatha is the world’s largest remaining nesting ground for the Olive Ridley Sea Turtle, a species that swims all the way to Orissa from places as far away as Australia and the Philippines. Between 200,000 and 500,000 female turtles nest here every year, in spectacular arribadas (mass nesting).The Olive Ridley Turtle is also classified as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). As the Tata’s suggested Greenpeace organized a Dhamra biodiversity assessment study where Dr. S.K. Dutta, principal investigator, found that the offshore waters of Dhamra have turtles. “Even though there is no turtle nesting ground, over the course of the study, we have recorded over 2,000 dead turtles, victims of mechanized fishing, on the port site and in nearby areas like Kanika Sands.”
The planned port facility will be located just north of the Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary and less than five kilometers from the boundaries of the Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary, which itself contains an abundance of rare wildlife species and an amazingly lush and bio diverse mangrove forest ecosystem, all of which are threatened by this port development scheme.
But what happened during the course of the investigation, apart from the Turtle aspect, “We have also made two exciting discoveries on the port site itself: the rare Crab-eating Frog is the first record from mainland India, and the White-bellied mangrove snake has thus far only been reported once on the mainland, from the Sundarbans,” added Dutta.
According to Greenpeace when they put forth this evidence, Tata did not keep their word. Tata along with Larsen and Tubro will go ahead with the Dharma project. The Dhamra area is very important for horseshoe crabs as well, we all know how beautiful India is, is it not our duty to preserve our own beautiful country? Every inhabitant of it and the Turtle tourists from the sea after swimming oceans.
Mark Twain rightly spoke about India, “So far as I am able to judge, nothing has been left undone, either by man or nature, to make India the most extraordinary country that the sun visits on his rounds. Nothing seems to have been forgotten, nothing overlooked.”
If you would like to help, write to Tata and help save the turtles and the bio diversity of Dharma. Save the turtles, save nature, save your country, save the world and you will save yourself.
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