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NGT takes notice of Odisha villagers suffering from salinity of farmlands

The Principal Bench of the NGT headed by Justice Prakash Shrivastava took suo motu cognisance of media reports about the plight of the coastal village.
Last Updated : 19 May 2024, 22:06 IST
Last Updated : 19 May 2024, 22:06 IST

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New Delhi: The NGT has taken note of the plight of the residents of Udaykani village in Odisha, who are suffering due to loss of livelihood following the salinisation of their farmlands, and sought responses from the Centre and the Odisha government. 

The Principal Bench of the NGT headed by Justice Prakash Shrivastava took suo motu cognisance of media reports about the plight of the coastal village. 

The media reports also said that due to the salination of farmlands, even marriage prospects are being affected as brides refuse to marry and move to areas where they see no future. There has been no wedding in Udaykani in the last decade, said the NGT quoting news reports. 

"The news reports said that Udaykani, along with neighbouring Tandahar village, was hit hard by a super-cyclone, the most intense ever recorded in the northern Indian Ocean that lashed the state 25 years ago. Along with the growing environmental volatility of the Bay of Bengal over the years, it meant a rise in soil and water salinity resulting in the loss of livelihood and farmland and shriveling of crops. It further alleges that the increasing salinity also makes the water undrinkable, forcing the residents of the area to barter their grain or oil for drinkable water from areas almost 10 miles away. Most of the youngsters have left the village and moved to cities for employment and marriage prospects," NGT said. 

"The salinisation of farmland is one of the most pressing environmental concerns. The news reports highlight serious consequences on the environment and human life. Such adverse impacts are irreversible and can lead to disastrous consequences which cannot be rectified. Hence, there is an immediate need to enforce adaptation measures and restoration measures to safeguard the life and livelihood of coastal villages, the NGT said. 

The NGT has sought replies from the National Coastal Zone Management Authority, Central Pollution Control Board, Odisha State Pollution Control Board, and the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. 

The NGT has transferred the matter to its astern Zone Bench for further hearing. 

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Published 19 May 2024, 22:06 IST

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