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Orissa

Turtles threatened

Issue Date: Jul 31, 1995
The stir against the Orissa government's plans to set up a fishing complex in Bhitarkanika sanctuary has now assumed global dimensions. The Sea Turtle Restoration Project in the US will host educational events and publicise the threats posed to the world's largest sea turtle nesting site by the proposed complex. It has also planned several letter-writing and petition campaigns over the next few months targeted at the Indian embassy and consulates in the US.

Powering people

Author(s): Rakesh Agarwal
Issue Date: Jun 30, 1995
The hatchery must go. The decision was unanimous and it bound together the 100 odd fisherfolk -- men and women -- with a common purpose. They had gathered under the red tiled roof of the New Baxipalli Mahila Sangho in Gopalpur-On-Sea, about 100 km from Orissa's capital, Bhuvaneshwar.

No to ritual hunting

Issue Date: May 15, 1995
POACHERs are motivated purely by commercial gain. But the tribals of Simlipal in Orissa are prompted by almost sacrosanct tradition - an annual hunting ceremony known as akhand shikar or .mass hunting excursion", which turns them into ferocious killers of even protected animals. The ritual normally begins in mid-April on Chaitra Sankranti. This year, Orissa forest authorities sealed off the Simlipal National Park, home to many protected species. This prevented the en masse infiltration of tribals armed with bows and arrows. The park will remain sealed till May 31.

"Stealing" Orissa's prospects

Issue Date: Mar 31, 1995
Will the ministry of environment and forests (MEF) never let Orissa prosper? Biju Patnaik has been claiming so for years now. Adding more grist to his mill, the MEF has recently put the spanner in the latest of Orissa's prestigious steel projects. The Rs 480 crore plant was to be set up by Mideast Integrated Steel Ltd., at Daitari in the Jajpur district.

The states see red

Issue Date: Dec 15, 1994
TILL the other day, the Rajasthan chief minister, Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, seemed to spend much of his time frozen on an anti-environmentalist platform, ranting against the Union ministry of environment and forests (MEF). Last fortnight, he seemed to have passed the megaphone to Orissa's Biju Patnaik. That both these stormy petrels are so shrill against green concerns is a sure sign that environmenmtal issues are steadily adding to the prickliness of the thorny Centre-states relations in India.

The pitfalls of protection

Author(s): Sudeep Mukhia
Issue Date: Nov 30, 1994
The forest protection initiatives of villagers in Bihar and Orissa, while arising out of crises, are marked by pragmatism. The people have realised that protection is possible only once their often-conflicting needs have been met first, which is why villagers' committees closely regulate the use of forest resources.

Lost Eden

Author(s): Anuj Sharma
Issue Date: Nov 30, 1994
THE term "non-wood forest produce" covers all forest products except timber. It includes seeds,flowers, gums, resin, bamboo, lac and fruits. Earlier called "minor" forest produce, its importance to tribal communities and its capacity for providing a sustainable source of self-employment to forest dwellers has been heavily underestimated so far, with timber hogging the limelight as the "major" forest produce.

Saving to survive

Author(s): Sudeep Mukhia
Issue Date: Nov 15, 1994
IN THE summer of 1970, Nunaram Mardi of Bhitardhari village in Bihar's East Singhbhum district espied a lone female monkey on a treeless rockface, desperately trying to shield her baby from the harsh sun with her body. "She was searching for shade, but could not find any," Mardi recounts.

When participation holds sway

Author(s): Sudeep Mukhia
Issue Date: Sep 30, 1994
THE village of Behrampur Gouditikra in Orissa's Bargarh district has an uncommon distinction: all the 109 households have running water. This is the latest addition to its civic amenities, which include latrines in every house, electricity, a school and a motorable road to the highway. All this has been achieved through a combination of local effort and the organisational skills of Gram Vikas (GV), a Behrampur-based NGO.

Fishing jetty docked

Issue Date: Aug 15, 1994
ENVIRONMENTAL groups in the country took resort to the law after the Union ministry of environment and forests (MEF) failed to prevent the Orissa government from going ahead with the controversial fishing jetty project at Talchua in the Bhitarkanika wildlife sanctuary. Recently, in response to a petition by the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF), the Orissa high court directed the state not to commission the jetty till October 31 and to immediately constitute an environment impact assessment study group on the sanctuary.
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