Certain concerns about the dangers posed by the port to the nesting of Olive Ridley Turtles have been expressed at various quarters.
Most of these are either based on apprehensions, which are not true or are due to the lack of knowledge of the exact location of the port vis-à-vis turtle nesting and breeding. NEAA after visiting the site has considered all aspects and upheld the environment clearance to the port.
The upcoming port will adversely affect the turtle breeding and congregation at Gahirmatha. Further, the ships going to Dhamra Port will cut across the turtle congregation near Gahirmatha.
The turtle breeding and congregation ground is more than 30 kms south of the upcoming port at Dhamra. Further, Gahirmatha and present Dhmara port location is separated by 2 rivers namely Dhamra and Maipura. Several sandy bars and Wheeler Islands separate even the sea path between Gahirmatha and Dhamra port. Studies by Wild Life Institute of India clearly shows that no turtle congregation and breeding takes place near the Dhamra port limits. In addition, the port limits are also far away from the core and buffer zone of Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary. The channel of the upcoming port at Dhamra (wherein the ships will enter the port) is the northern channel and is considerably far removed from the turtle sanctuary at Gahirmatha. The Bombay Natural Harbour Society has also accepted this in their initial quick survey.
The Environmental Impact Assessment for the port was not done in a right manner. The EIA was done for a site, wherein the port is being developed in a different site.
When the Govt of Orissa decided to develop the port once again in Dhamra, M/s Kirloskar Consultants prepared the study after detailed investigation. Further EIA chapters on Navigation Channel, Marine Living Resources and Greenbelt development were added after detailed study.
It must also be understood that the environment clearance was a two-year long process during which a number of studies and reports were submitted. The original EIA study covered an area of 10 km radius for all purposes, which included both the sites referred to as concept 1 and concept 2 in the study. As the final selection went in favour of concept 1, a supplementary EIA study was also conducted and submitted which was exclusively in reference to the finally selected location where the port is now being developed. The final clearance and judgment of NEAA are in reference to the present site of Dhamra Port.
Apart from the mentioned concerns, some other false concerns are being deliberately spread by pseudo environmental personalities and organizations. Upakula Surakhya Abhijan appeals to all self-respecting odias to come forward and save the state from this type of interference.
If Odisha is to embark on a definite journey of progress and prosperity, the construction of the Dhamra Port should be effectively facilitated.
It is our appeal to the people of Odisha to support us in this endeavour by thwarting the conniving efforts of Greenpeace India and other anti-progress organisations.