Toxic destruction

 
Published: Sunday 15 July 2001

following the bursting of an effluent pipeline running through a marine national park in Jamnagar, Gujarat, more than 7,000 mangrove trees and rare marine plants and animals were destroyed. The marine park is said to be Asia's best. The pipeline, which runs from a factory of Tata Chemicals Limited at Samlasar to the Padli and Mithapur salt works, burst on June 2, 2001, spilling thousands of tonnes of effluents.

"Since the temperature of the effluents was very high and they were acidic in nature, extensive damage was caused to the marine life," said G A Patel, chief conservator of forests. B H Dave, the range forest officer of the park, said that a case has been registered against the company under the Wildlife Protection Act and two engineers of the company have been arrested under the forest conservation and wildlife protection laws.

Many lawsuits have been filed in the past regarding laying of more pipelines through the park. For example, a legal battle has been going on for three years between two companies and Halar Utkarsh Samiti of Jamnagar, a people's organisation, regarding laying of an oil pipeline through the marine park.

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