Movement for People-Centred Development and Struggle Committee Against Coastal Corridor organise seminar

“A nationwide agitation is needed to protect the biodiversity, the Eastern Ghats, and the coast,” social activist Praful Kumar Samatra said during a seminar held here on Saturday.

The Movement for People-Centred Development and the Struggle Committee Against Coastal Corridor organised the seminar to elicit opinion of all sections of people to fight for protection of biodiversity, the eastern coast, and the Eastern Ghats.

“How can we believe our rulers’ assurance on protecting biodiversity when they themselves are allowing large-scale mining?” he asked.

Ill-effects

Mining in the Eastern Ghats was forcing indigenous tribal population and animals to leave the area. Rivers and streams were vanishing and the activity in the hills had its effect on farmers, farm labourers, and artisans depending on farming, he explained.

“It is the duty of the intelligentsia and scholars to explain the bad effects of mining and other activities in the Eastern Ghats to the common man. Eastern Ghats have some of the rarest flora and fauna, but with one single order they all will vanish,” said Mr. Samatra.

A former professor of geology of Andhra University G. Krishna Rao reminded that it would be disastrous to allow mining or diggings along the coast when the seawater level was on the rise. If digging was allowed, the first casualty was drinking water, since salt water from sea would seep in, Prof. Krishna Rao said.

Laws existed to protect biodiversity, but the rulers themselves were circumventing the Constitution and the law. It was time the intelligentsia stepped in, said AU professor of anthropology P.D. Satyapal. Every one must be made to understand biodiversity to protect the same, said a professor of zoology of AU C. Manjulatha.

G. Raghuram of APCLC said, though the State and Central governments were claiming that the ongoing international biodiversity meet in Hyderabad as a great event, experts were not able to reach out to the common man by explaining the facts in a simple language. A State committee member of MPCD J.V. Ratnam said 17 topics being discussed at the Hyderabad meet were posing danger to India. K.S. Chalam of the Committee Against Coastal Corridor explained the dangers people would face due to the corridor. Convener of Anti-Privatisation Struggle Committee P.V. Ramana, IFTU leader K. Venkateswarlu, Sompeta environment protection committee members — M. Raghavaiah and B. Dilli Rao, Chalasani Prasad and Krishna Bai of Virasam spoke.


  • Drinking water will be the first casualty if digging is allowed along the coast, says professor

  • Political leaders circumventing Constitution and law, says a professor