Pulicat Lake in Grave Danger

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The Birds of Pulicat Lake vs Dugarajapatnam Port

The birds of Pulicat Lake VS Dugarajapatnam Port 
 the unlawful reduction of the Eco-Sensitive Zonearound Pulicat Lake will lead to serious ecological threats to this unique wetland.
Pulicat Bird Sanctuary, spanning northern Tamil Nadu and southern AndhraPradesh is the 2nd largest brackish water ecosystem in India. Hundreds ofthousands of migratory waterfowl throng the lake from October to April, includinglarge numbers of Greater and Lesser Flamingos. Efforts are underway throughnational conservation bodies such as Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) andSalim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural history (SACON) to declare it asa wetland of international importance and obtain for it the status ofa RAMSAR site.46 villages (16 island villages and 30 adjoining villages) depend on the lake directlyor indirectly for their livelihood.However, this fragile wetland ecosystem is under serious threat because of a plan
to build a „world
class‟ port and ship building centre, which will lead to massive
dredging and also result in many ancillary industries coming up in the area. In
order to facilitate this project, a notification was issued by the Ministry ofEnvironment and Forests (MoEF) to reduce the mandatory Eco-Sensitive Zone (ESZ)around the sanctuary from 10 km to 2 km in an attempt to blatantly bypass thelaw. Public concerns voiced and official petitions were ignored.
Following a Supreme Court order in WP 460/2004, the MOEF issued guidelines ondeclaration of Eco-Sensitive Zones (ESZ) around all Wildlife Sanctuaries to act as
“shock absorbers” for protected areas by regulating and managing activities
around them. All activities in the ESZ shall be governed by the provisions of theEnvironment (Protection) Act, 1986 and carefully regulated.As per this guideline, the ESZ of Pulicat Bird Sanctuary was earmarked by theAndhra Pradesh Forest Department as 10 km in a letter to the Government fromthe Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) Andhra Pradesh, dated 05-03-2007, Reference Number 779/07/WL-1. However, in a draft notification by theMoEF dated 03-01-2014, the ESZ has been reduced from the proposed 10 km to 2km.On 16-09-2013, the government notified the creation of a major shipping port withan extent of 5028 acres at Dugarajupatnam of Pulicat Bird Sanctuary with another9700 acres earmarked for future requirements. The reduction in the ESZ and theproposed major commercial shipping port right next to a major and significantwetland area will cause irreparable harm and damage to the Pulicat BirdSanctuary and will also affect the livelihood of the fishermen in the area. Thisreduction of the ESZ by the MoEF is completely unwarranted and is an invitation toecological disaster.
Increase the Eco-Sensitive Zone for Pulicat Bird Sanctuary to 10 km aroundthe entire Sanctuary. There should be no relaxation of any sort offered toestablish any ecologically damaging activity like hazardous industries,thermal power plants, seaports or airports in the 10 km width ESZ.2.
Explore other alternatives for the port in non-ecologically sensitive areas.3.
Read mor ehere -http://www.scribd.com/doc/229397993/The-Birds-of-Pulicat-Lake-vs-Dugarajapatnam-Port
DC | Pathri Rajasekhar | June 11, 2014, 05.06 am IST
File Photo of Pulicat lake (Photo: PTI)

File Photo of Pulicat lake (Photo: PTI)

Nellore: The wildlife department has strongly opposed a proposal to denotify Pulicat Lake located close to Sullurpeta in SPSR Nellore district.

The department’s opinion was sought by the government recently following a representation by former Tirupati MP Dr Chinta Mohan along with the signatures of 30 MPs to denotify the lake.

Pulicat lake is the second largest and ecologically most important brackish water lagoon of India and it was declared a sanctuary in 1976.

About 75 per cent of the lagoon is in AP and 25 per cent in Tamil Nadu. The area of the lake varies with the tide; 450 square km (170 sq mi) in high tide and 250 square km (97 sq mi) in low tide.

Dr Chinta Mohan lobbied to denotify the lake because it had become a stumbling block to set up Dugarajapatnam Port as it was an Eco Sensitive Zone (ESZ). The ESZ of Pulicat sanctuary was earmarked by the AP Forest department with 10 km width and the land identified for the port was coming under the restricted area.

To overcome the problem, the ministry of environment and forests had brought down the restriction extent from mandatory 10 km to 2 km and sought the opinion of the wildlife officials.
In their reply to the government, wildlife officials mentioned that livelihood of 25,000 to 30,000 fishermen families in Andhra Pradesh and 20,000 families in Tamil Nadu will be hit if wildlife restrictions are lifted.

Recalling that the lake was winter home for flamingoes and the favourite feeding ground for thousands of migratory birds, the officials alleged that any move to relax the restrictions will drive away the birds.

“We mentioned that AP government alone can’t take any decision to denotify the lake without Tamil Nadu’s consent since 24 per cent of the lagoon is on their side. In addition to this, the opinion of habitants of 46 villages located in and around the lake is also necessary apart from district Collector of Nellore,” an official in the wildlife wing said.

Read moreher – http://www.deccanchronicle.com/140611/nation-current-affairs/article/pulicat-lake-plan-opposed