To conserve mangroves, GMR Energy to stop dredging in mudflats off Kakinada coast

V Rishi Kumar Hyderabad | Updated on June 02, 2020 Published on June 02, 2020

A file photo of a mangrove

GMR Energy Limited has been directed to stop dredging in the Kumbabhishekham mudflat off the Kakinada coast in Andhra Pradesh to protect the mangroves.

The company was directed by the State Forest Department to remove a bund close to the mudflat adjacent to the company’s 220 MW barge-mounted power plant., comes in the backdrop of some environmentalists and former top bureaucrats flagging off environment concerns.

When contacted, the District Forest Officer, Nandani Salaria, told BusinessLine, “The directive to remove the bund is aimed at protecting the mangrooves and the flora and fauna in the region.”

“While the company has secured necessary permissions to take up work, when we visited the site, we felt there could be some problems for the mangroves. Therefore, we asked them to remove the bund,” she explained.

Not only is the mudflat under threat, there is potential for mangrove cover being affected and possibly lead to destruction of the prime habitat of birds, endangered Great knots (Calidris tenuirostris), and Indian skimmers (Rynchops albiocollis), which are listed as a vulnerable species, according to a report published in The Hindu.

The company had taken up the dredging to shift installations. Following complaints, officials of the Forest Department and State Pollution Control Board visited the site.

“GMR was directed to stop the dredging and remove the bund,” she said.

EAS Sarma, former Union Power Secretary, K Mruthyunjaya Rao, a wetland expert and several others have been documenting the dredging and other works at the Kumbabhisekham mudflat and sought the intervention of the State and the Ministry of Environment and Forests.

Published on June 02, 2020
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