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Thread: Save Telineelapuram

  1. #1
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    Default Save Telineelapuram

    Telineelapuram located in Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh is a heaven for bird lovers and photographers. Every year thousands of migratory birds like Pelicans, Painted Storks descend upon Telineelapuram. The locals consider the day auspicious when Painted Storks arrive. These birds build their nests in the trees in the area and live in complete harmony with the villagers.

    The Telineelapuram and the neighbouring Naupada swamps have been recognised as the habitat for providing nesting and breeding grounds for about 122 species of migratory birds including the pelicans and the painted storks. This important wetland faced its brush with death when M/s East Coast Energy Pvt. Ltd. decided to set up a 2640 MW Bhavanapadu Thermal Power Project near Kakrapalli village, near Telineelapuram in Sri Kakulam District, Andhra Pradesh at an area of 3500 acres.

    The TORs for the project were prescribed on 6th August, 2007. The public consultation was held on 23.4.2008. The Expert Appraisal committee on Environment Impact Assessment met on June 11-12, 2008 and sought detailed clarifications on various issues including the distance from the railway line, whether the area is a marsh land, topography, impact on drainage of the area, surface hydrology, location of any National Park, Sanctuary, Elephant / Tiger Reserve (existing as well as proposed), migratory routes, if any, within 10 km of the project site etc etc.

    The proponents of the Project swung into action after that and had tried their best to change the nature of land by mud filling. Construction was going on at a furious pace when I visited the place and was threatened with dire consequences. I was amazed at the audacity and the rapid pace of work.

    Telineelapuram found a friend in Mr. Mrutyunjaya Rao who filed a PIL, created media stories in support of saving this wetland of importance and whose untiring efforts in collecting data and images of the various species strengthened the representations to the ministry. Former Secretary Dr. E A S Sarma had also lent his voice in supporting the cause.

    The EAC again met and gave the verdict to change the location of the project. I am happy that my images did their job on their own way. The relevant portions of the minutes of the EAC meeting is reproduced below:

    "The Committee observed that Painted Storks and Spot Billed Pelicans are the two species, which use this area for breeding and nesting. It is the only remaining remnant of the marsh area on the east coast. The proposed site is an ecological entity with incomparable value requiring conservation and protection.

    Based on the submissions made by the proponent and the discussions held, the Committee recommended that the proponent should shift their site upland sufficiently away from the marshy area and submit the details for further consideration of the proposal. "

    Let us celebrate and congratulate Shri K. Mrutyumjaya Rao.

    Lets not forget that the job is still not over. We need your support in ensuring that this project is shifted to a place which is far from a ecologicaly important area like Telineelapuram. Please write to The Secretary, MoEF, Government of India, Ministry of Environment & Forests, Paryavaran Bhavan, CGO Complex, Lodi Road, ND-110003 and email at envisect@nic.in
    asking the project site to be shifted to an alternative site far from the bird sanctuary.

    Some photos from Telineelapuram:
    http://www.indiawilds.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11
    http://www.indiawilds.com/forums/showthread.php?t=39
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  2. #2
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    Default

    The photo of the Pelican in flight was clicked in Telineelapuram. In the background you can see Painted storks nesting. This image was created with Canon EOS 40D, Canon EF 28-135mm lens at 43mm.

    This photograph showing the construction and purple moore hen in the front was taken in November 2, 2008. Mud filling in the lovely wetlands was being done at a rapid pace.
    Attached Images Attached Images     

  3. #3

    Default

    Wow..... love the pelicans in flight.....
    wish you had a few close shots of the painted storks.....
    About the land fill... similar story seems to be elsewhere too...
    saw a huge patch being burnt at the Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary.....
    ( villagers planning to cultivate there)

  4. #4

    Default

    Have they stopped the work... or is it just a stay order from courts...??
    Mr Rao has to be congratulated.... for filing a PIL and pushing it thru, without getting bogged down by authorities or external pressure.
    You are right .... the job isnt over by far. Perhaps just begining. Because " Shifting the site sufficiently away' really isnt the answer. One knows from past instances that " sufficiently away" always manages to creep uncomfortably close within no time.

  5. #5
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    An update:

    The concerned company managed to get the permission.

    In the meanwhile, construction is on in full swing. The water is diverted from the wetlands so that the wetlands will die (photo attached). Situation is grim.

    A case has been filed in the Supreme Court. The preliminary hearing has happened on 11th of August. The next hearing is in next week. Lets hope for the best.

    Sabyasachi
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  6. #6

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    Any updates on this?? this is really sad..keep up the brave work of photo documenting this kind of perverse development sabyasachi..

  7. #7
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    Default Blinded by Power: Article from Outlook

    Dear All,
    This had appeared in Outlook. I thought of sharing it with you all.
    Sabyasachi

    ANDHRA PRADESH: POWER VS ECOLOGY
    Blinded By Power
    AP’s nod to a rash of power projects spells doom for its ecology
    MADHAVI TATA

    It didn’t take much for the late Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy to promise free power to farmers. The gambit paid off too, as he returned to power in the 2009 assembly elections. The Andhra farmer wasn’t complaining either. But when the time came to honour the commitment, the ‘free’ bit of the deal started pinching the state exchequer. Looking to augment the state’s power output, the Andhra government began clearing the construction of a cluster of six thermal power plants and one nuclear project.

    The projects will come up on a 90-km wetland stretch from the Naupada swamps to the Itchapuram lagoon, along the virgin coastline of Andhra’s northern Srikakulam district. Characterised by marshes, swamps and bogs, the wetlands are rich in biodiversity, visited by a wide variety of migratory birds and comparable, in terms of the species they support, to tropical rainforests or coral reefs.

    The emergence of power plants here, environmentalists point out, will destroy the local ecology and livelihood. But, typically, the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) reports have been prepared by fly-by-night consultants and are riddled with errors.

    East Coast Energy Pvt Ltd in the Santhabommali mandal of Srikakulam was the first to storm the ecologically fragile Naupada swamps. Work on its “super-critical technology” plant—the 2,640- MW Bhavanapadu Thermal Power Plant on 2,050 acres—has already commenced, to the chagrin of local farmers, fisherfolk and agitating environment NGOs.

    Filling and raising of marshland in the project area is changing the character of the Naupada swamps and causing irreversible ecological damage. Barely three km away from the site is the Telineelapuram bird sanctuary which the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) and Birdlife International recognise as a globally Important Bird Area (IBA).

    In an apparent rush to seek environmental clearance for the East Coast Energy project, AP’s special chief secretary (environment, forests, science and technology) in February 2009 submitted a CRZ (coastal regulatory zone) demarcation report and NOC from the AP government to the Union ministry of forests and environment. The report listed the legal status of quarry land and detailed drainage plan. However, what it conveniently ignored were reports on the ecological value of the wetland and migratory bird breeding in Telineelapuram.


    The Naupada swamps attract 123 species of migratory birds. In a report submitted to the standing committee of the National Board for Wildlife in December 2009, Dr Asad R. Rahmani of BNHS and Prof Asha Rajvanshi of the Wildlife Institute of India called the East Coast project’s EIA report inaccurate and misleading. “The EIA,” the duo pointed out, “was conducted in summer (March-May) when water is at its lowest in the swamps and migratory birds are not seen. The report says there are no migratory routes or endangered animal species within 10 km of the site, which is again false.”

    Worried that the project has already cast its ecological footprint, Rahmani and Rajvanshi find fault with the Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation for selling the site, classifying it as revenue land. “As it is a wetland, it was considered ‘wasteland’ by district authorities,” they observed. “Ideally, East Coast Energy Pvt Ltd should vacate this ecologically important wetland which should be declared as a conservation reserve in its entirety,” they concluded.

    Similar arguments rage against the 495-MW Meghavaram Power thermal plant on 500 acres of swamp abutting the Bhavanapadu plant, and the 2,640-MW plant of the Nagarjuna Construction Company (NCC) in Sompeta mandal.



    “The government is presiding over the destruction of natural ecosystems, violating our economic laws.”E.A.S. Sarma, Forum For Better Visakha


    Coal-based plants will turn these lush green marshes into hellholes, feels former Union expenditure secretary E.A.S. Sarma, who heads the NGO, Forum for Better Visakha. Sarma says that setting up thermal power plants in wetlands is in clear violation of the 1971 Ramsar International Treaty (which India signed in 1982) on Conservation of Wetlands. “Both the state and central governments are bound by the statutory commitments of this treaty to conserve this wetland stretch in Srikakulam,” says Sarma. “The government is presiding over the destruction of natural ecosystems and the rash manner in which these projects are being set up point to a criminal violation of economic laws of the country.”
    Pointing out that East Coast Energy, which had agreed to shift a polluting ash pond and gave up 500 acres of marshy land, has now reclaimed the same land for the Meghavaram project in the guise of a different company, Sarma says corporates are pros at hoodwinking people. Once the Bhavanapadu project is fully operational, a normal rainfall in the area, Sarma fears, can cause flooding in 30,000 acres of farmland because of the altered water routes.

    Highlighting that NCC’s power plant on the beela (as the water body is known locally) at Sompeta will affect 1.5 lakh people of 30 villages, Human Rights Forum general secretary V.S. Krishna calls for immediate central intervention. “The thermal plant, which will occupy about 1,882 acres, is encroaching on a wetland area of 1,200 acres. This will devastate the lives of thousands of farmers and fisherfolk and will surely destroy the biodiversity of the swamp. Water from the beela is a lifeline for a two-crop paddy over 5,000 acres. Inland fishing sustains the Kandra and Agnikulashatriya communities. It is preposterous that such a fertile, life-sustaining area could be described by revenue officials as a wasteland,” Krishna fumes.

    Meanwhile, K.J.B.V. Subramanyam, vice-president (projects,) NCC Infrastructure Holdings Ltd, maintains that based on expert studies conducted at Sompeta, “the plant site does not fall in an environmentally sensitive ecosystem. There are no threatened categories of plant or animal species as cited in Red Data lists which occur as natural inhabitants. There are no signs of any features of marshy lands in and around the site.”

    For several months now, local groups Teerapranta Machhikara Aikya Vedika and Parivaranana Parirakshana Sangham have been agitating against the Sompeta plant under the leadership of Y. Krishna Murthy. “We are ready to sacrifice our lives to prevent the power plant from coming up,” he declares. “NCC bribed panchayat presidents to pass a resolution in favour of the plant without explaining to villagers the consequences.”

    There are other plants in the pipeline: the 2,500-MW thermal plant APGenco at Itchapuram, and a nuclear one at the Kovvada Matsyalesam village in Ranasthalam mandal. Sri Surya Chakra Power Corporation is also doing some recce on a site in the district. The plan is to generate 10,000 MW eventually, say government sources. But so blinded is the AP government by the shining megawatts ahead that it’s oblivious to the dark days ahead for its ecology.

    The source article can be found here:
    http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?263784

  8. #8
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    Default

    The unfortunate incident of the death of two protestors in police firing has strengthened the case of the people opposing the setup of these proposed power plants. The deceased were among the hundreds of villagers who came out to protest the laying of the foundation of one of these power plants.

    The incident has evoked strong reactions from all sides in the state of Andhra and has forced the Government to initiate action immediately. A high level team of the MoEF inspected the sites at Sompeta and Bhavanapadu and would be submitting their reports to the Union Government very soon.

    Lets hope that the Government clearly sees the impending ecological disaster if the projects are given a go-ahead and puts a full stop to all the projects in and around these sensitive areas.

  9. #9
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    Thumbs up

    Telineelapuram wetland has to be protected. The importance of wetland ecosystems is not known to many of us. We lost grassland ecosystem and in the process Lions and Great Indian Bustards are struggling. Our Chetahs are extinct.

    Let us protect the wetlands for our future.

    Sabyasachi, pictures of pelicans are well composed and creates good impact to the article. TFS.
    ^^^^^^^^^________________^^""=`~/^^\!

    You can plant trees but cannot create forests

  10. #10
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    Default Crucial CRZ clearance may hinge on experts panel report

    Crucial CRZ clearance may hinge on experts panel report
    B Krishna Prasad,TNN,Mar 5, 2011, 11.54pm IST

    HYDERABAD: The observation of the expert committee appointed by the Union environment and forests ministry that the East Coast Private Energy Ltd project site is part of a wetland and its preservation is important for the overall wetland eco-system of the Naupada swamps in Srikakulam district may play a key role in whether the ministry accords the Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ) clearance for the project.

    The project officials are scheduled to meet with the Expert Appraisal Committee (Thermal) of the Environment and Forests Ministry in New Delhi on Monday to explain to them about the various clearances secured by the promoters in the coming up of the 2640-MW super critical coal-fired power project in Bhavanapadu of Srikakulam district. The ministry had imposed a freeze on all activity at the power plant following the violent protests by local people last week in which two persons were killed in police firing.

    So far, the East Coast project has secured all the clearances from the respective agencies except the crucial CRZ approval from the Union ministry. The project has secured the environmental clearance (MoEF), Consent for Establishment (AP Pollution Control Board), No Objection Certificate for construction of chimney ( Airports Authority of India), Sea Water Drawl (Govt of AP), Defence Clearance ( Ministry of Defence), Forest Department NOC (Govt of AP), Fuel Linkage for coal (Mahanadi Coal Field), Mega Power Status (Ministry of Power), Diversion Drain (irrigation dept, govt of AP), rail transport clearance (East Coast Railways), panchayat approval (Kakarapalli panchayat), town and country planning (govt of AP) and director of factories (govt of AP). The only clearance it is awaiting is the CRZ approval.

    The experts committee comprising chief conservator of forests K S Reddy, deputy chief conservator of forests N S Murali, and scientist C Kaliyaperumal, all from the southern zone Bangalore office of the ministry of environment and forests, visited the project area in June-July 2010 and submitted the Site Inspection Report in August of that year.

    Link - Crucial CRZ clearance may hinge on experts panel report - Times Of India
    Regards,
    Mrudul Godbole

  11. #11
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    There has been an unfortunate incident of firing on agitating fishermen in Kakrapalli village on 28th March. Immediately, the Minister for Environment and Forests, Shri Jairam Ramesh ordered work to be suspended. It is unfortunate that despite so many representations to the ministry, documentation of the impact of the plant, the faulty EIA etc had no impact on the ministry. Perhaps the ministry wants a few deaths by people to take action. Is this how a democracy is supposed to function.

    The detailed order can be found here: http://www.moef.nic.in/downloads/pub...AP01032011.pdf

    Sabyasachi

  12. #12
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    Default Great Indian wetland robbery

    Read this article on the wetlands..

    Great Indian wetland robbery
    Andhra Pradesh | Posted on Feb 02, 2012 at 11:12am IST

    SRIKAKULAM: Year 2009 witnessed the birth of two mass environment movements for conserving the wetlands of Srikakulam district—Nowpada Swamps and Sompeta Beela— on which thousands of inland fishermen and farmers depend for livelihood and irrigation.

    They are also the winter home to a large number of migratory birds.

    Since Paryavarana Parirakshna Samithi (PPS) of Sompeta and Bhavanapadu Thermal Vyathireka Porata Samithi of Kakarapalli launched their fight, five farmers died during protests against the ‘great robbery’ of wetlands, which are rich in bio-diversity.

    When Mahatma Gandhi launched his Salt Satyagraha in 1930, an important place in the agitation on the east coast was Kakarapalli swamp, now the proposed location for a 2640 mw power plant to be set up by East Coast Energy.

    In the words of Inland Fishermen’s Association president Kutro: “The swamp is home to more than 120 migratory exotic bird species.

    It has four streams and the surplus water of river Vamsadhara flows in.

    It is a lifeline for thousands of fishermen and farmers.” Due to the government’s favourable attitude towards East Coast Energy Company, we lost two dear ones in police firing on February 28, 2011.

    The power plant proposal also spelt doom for painted storks and pelicans of Telineelapuram bird sanctuary, adjacent to the swamp, he added.

    The fragile natural system will be destroyed if the thermal power plant comes up.

    Around 35,000 acres of paddy fields in 29 villages surrounded by the marsh, levelled for the plant, are inundated during the rainy season now.

    The report of Asad R Rahmani of Bombay Natural History Society and Asha Rajvanshi of Wildlife Institute of India, submitted to the National Board for Wildlife in December 2009, said clearly that the swamp is “purely a wetland”.

    Similarly, the National Environmental Appellate Authority team, led by wetland experts Siddhartha Kaul and JC Kala, during their visit to Sompeta in June 2010, opined that Beela has all the features of a wetland.

    The ministry of environment and forests, based on Kaul and Kala report, quashed the environmental clearance to Nagarjuna Constructions on July 15, 2010, confirming Beela was a wetland.

    When the voice of fishermen and farmers was hushed by the state, allowing acquisition of 972 acres of Beela, people, including academicians and fishermen, formed Paryavarana Parirakshana Samithi (PPS) in 2009.

    Starting the wetland conservation movement in the country, it challenged the UPA’s industrial policy.

    PPS activists fought for their right to live on Beela and lost three protesters in police killing on July 14, 2010.

    Since July 14 to till today, the legal battle is going on.

    The government’s attempt at taking away the Beela wetland for industrial purpose was scuttled by the High Court which quashed GO No.

    1101 for acquisition of land for the thermal plant.

    The final hearings in the Beela case are now on at the National Green Tribunal.

    But the state government did not take back the Beela land from the company and was maintaining silence on the issue.

    “Lives were lost in police firing; experts say it is wetland; courts say the land must be taken back.

    What more can we do to protect it?” protesters ask.

    Six years after the National Forest Commission’s prime recommendation to the Central government over conservation of wetlands, no mechanism is in place till today.

    On its part, the state government never brought to the notice of MoEF the issue of including state’s marshes in the list of wetlands to be protected, says R Ravi, environmental activist of NGO Samata.

    A ray of hope

    The ministry of environment and forests asked Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History (SACON), Tamil Nadu, to prepare a report on the wetlands in Srikakulam district by March 31.

    “Our report, based on an ongoing study, is likely to be considered when the MoEF initiates special action to conserve wetlands and when it includes unidentified eligible wetlands in India’s wetlands list,” SACON team coordinator K Mathew Sebastain told Express.

    The report offers a ray of hope to both PPS and Kakarapalli protesters

    * The report of Asad R Rahmani of Bombay Natural History Society and Asha Rajvanshi of Wildlife Institute of India said clearly that the swamp is “purely a wetland”.

    * The ministry of environment and forests, based on Kaul and Kala report, quashed the environmental clearance to Nagarjuna Construction Company (NCC), confirming that Beela was a wetland.

    * The government’s attempt at taking away the Beela wetland for industrial purpose was scuttled by the High Court which quashed GO No. 1101 for acquisition of land for the thermal plant.

    * The state government did not take back the Beela land from the company and was maintaining silence on the issue.
    Regards,
    Mrudul Godbole

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