Economy

Developmental projects serious threat to marine, coastal regions

Our Bureau Hyderabad | Updated on October 09, 2012 Published on October 09, 2012

Andhra Pradesh is proposing 10 new ports, 15 new thermal power projects (eight of them in Krishnapatnam area in Nellore district), and several other power plants with undisclosed or uncertain locations.

A clutch of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have claimed that the country’s marine and coastal biodiversity is under serious threat from a number of developmental projects.

They cited the 15 proposed power plants (totalling 25 gigawatt), six captive ports and six mega shipyards that are coming up in a small stretch of 150 km of coastal Maharashtra. This will expose the whole coast’s inter-tidal areas and adjoining waters to thermal pollution, directly affecting near shore biodiversity and fisheries.

Similarly, Andhra Pradesh is proposing 10 new ports, 15 new thermal power projects (eight of them in Krishnapatnam area in Nellore district), and several other power plants with undisclosed or uncertain locations, they said in a statement at the ongoing global biodiversity conference.

Additionally, Andhra Pradesh has 70 SEZs proposed in 15 districts, including a staggering 5 million acres in a coastal corridor that will include airports, sea ports, ship-breaking, pharmaceutical, petrochemical, information technology, apparel units and captive thermal power stations

These NGOs include BNHS, National Coastal Protection Campaign, Dakshin Foundation, PondyCAN, Kalpavriksh, ICSF Trust, Greenpeace India.

They said marine biodiversity conservation remains seriously under-represented in the country’s agenda even though the Indian Ocean has amongst the richest biodiversity in the world.

An unprecedented scale of ‘development’ along the east and west coast of India is taking place; this includes ports, power plants, ship yards, coastal armouring, aquaculture, and so on.

This spells doom for large tracts of inter-tidal and near-shore marine areas. These developments will make the already vulnerable traditional and artisanal fishers more vulnerable, destroying or displacing livelihoods.

There is an urgent need for a clear policy on coastal and marine conservation and livelihood security they demanded. On the occasion of the CBD COP 11, India can announce significant steps to curtail this kind of reckless development, and to ensure conservation of marine and coastal biodiversity.

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Published on October 09, 2012
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