The proposed thermal project being developed at Kakarapalle village in Naupada mandal of Srikakulam district will kill at least 125 species of birds, mostly migratory, apart from destroying the reptiles, amphibians, butterflies and rare medicinal plants in the region.
This apart the project would also affect the livelihood of the deprived classes of the area, said director of UGC Academic Staff College Prof. Bharatalaxmi. Talking to this newspaper here on Thursday, she said she had submitted a document on the Naupada swamps at the recently held symposium, ‘Landmark Researches in Marine Biology-The Indian Context’, at Andhra University in which she elaborated the dangerous fall out of the thermal power project on the ecologically sensitive Naupada swamps.
She said the swamps have been important feeding and breeding ground for migratory Spot Billed Pelicans, Painted Stork and also nesting ground for endangered Olive Ridley turtles and other than the local species of birds and animals.
Since the 2010 was declared as International Biodiversity Year, the symposium resolved to ask the ministry of environment and forests to declare the Naupada swamps as Nature Reserve. Environmentalists have been protesting that the project proponents and the government violating both international and national conventions while encouraging the super thermal projects in the ecologically sensitive area. India has been a signatory to Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, 1981 in which Article 5(1) directs necessary protection to the wetlands.
India also signed Bonn Convention, 1983, on migratory species which mandates protection of breeding and nesting grounds of endangered species. Section 14(D) of Convention on Biological Diversity of 1992 deals with protection of water bodies and Naupada has been identified as sight of special scientific interest. Most of these migratory birds have been enlisted under Schedule 1, II, III and IV of Chapter 3, Section 9 of Wildlife Protection Act in India.