Creating panic

Published: Monday 31 May 1999

the Gujarat government's move to de-reserve the West Mangrove Reserve Forest ( wmrf ) to facilitate setting up of cement industries has created panic among the fishing community in the Kutch district of Gujarat. A report published by the Thiruvananthapuram-based National Fishworkers' Forum ( nff ) says that the wmrf has come under threat from cement manufacturing companies that are planning to construct private jetties. It is said that at least four firms have applied for de-reservation.

The report, Mapping the extent of coastal regulation zone violations , charged the Gujarat government with altering the map of the Kharo creek, where the jetty is coming up, to suit industrial houses. According to the survey done by the nff , violations are taking place at Jakhau, Kandala and Maliya. It said that 22 companies were pushing for leasing rights to mine limestone and that six of them had already been granted licences for mining. Marine life would be adversely affected once these concerns install power plants, the wmrf, said the study .

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