GMR told to stop dredging in Kakinada

‘Dismantle bund close to mudflat’

May 29, 2020 10:34 pm | Updated 10:34 pm IST - KAKINADA

A mound erected around the mangrove cover by GMR to deposit the dredged material in Kakinada

A mound erected around the mangrove cover by GMR to deposit the dredged material in Kakinada

The Forest Department has directed GMR Energy Limited to stop dredging activity in the Kumbabhishekham mudflat with immediate effect. It has also ordered the removal of the bund around the mangrove cover adjacent to the company’s 220 MW barge-mounted power plant on the Kakinada coast.

The action comes in response to a report published in these columns on May 22 detailing the threat to the mudflat and the mangrove cover and destruction of the prime habitat of birds — endangered Great knots ( Calidris tenuirostris ), and Indian skimmers ( Rynchops albiocollis ), which are listed as a vulnerable species.

The dredging was being carried out by GMR Energy Limited to shift existing installations.

On May 27, District Forest Officer (East Godavari-Territorial) Nandani Salaria and Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board (APPCB)-Kakinada Executive Engineer A. Rama Rao Naidu conducted a site inspection on the directions of East Godavari Collector D. Muralidhar Reddy.

“On the site, a bund has been erected on the mudflat front. The inflow of water and sand being dredged from the mudflat into the mangrove cover has been recorded. The GMR authorities have been directed to stop the dredging activity and remove the bund by June 1,” Ms. Salaria said.

Campaign by activists

“The bund is an immediate threat, impacting the soil topography and salinity on the site being levelled with the dredged material,” Ms. Salaria added. Mr. Rama Rao Naidu said the APPCB is investigating the issue.

Former Union Power Secretary E.A.S. Sarma, wetland expert K. Mruthynjaya Rao, and conservation biologist J. Eswar Narayana have documented the destruction of the Kumbabhisekham mudflat due to the dredging, and sought the intervention of the State and the Ministry of Environment and Forests and Climate Change in the matter.

Top News Today


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.