Daily News Analysis

Bhitarkanika National Park                                              

6th September, 2021 Environment

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Context:

  • Environmentalists expressed concern over the massive diversion of fresh water from the Brahmani river basin, which could pose a grave threat to the famous mangrove vegetation in Odisha.
  • The Talcher-Angul coal mines, steel and power plants as well as the Kalinganagar steel and power hub are drawing enormous quantities of fresh water from the Brahmani river.

 

About Bhitarkanika:

  • It is a notified Ramsar wetland.
  • The national park is home to Saltwater crocodile
  • Spread over 195 sq. km, it is home to 62 mangrove species.

 

Why reducing flow of freshwater is a cause of concern?

  • Mangroves grow in brackish water.
  • Proportionate fresh water flow from the Brahmani river basin and the Kharasrota river keep the salinity level of the water along the shore down.
  • The reduction in water flow would lead to drastic changes in the water regime of the Bhitarkanika mangroves.
  • This can lead to increase in the man–crocodile conflict since the estuarine crocodiles would leave the core sanctuary area and migrate upstream once salinity increases.

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/experts-express-concern-over-diversion-of-fresh-water-from-brahmani/article36279126.ece