Business Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Tuesday, Nov 14, 2006

Cross Currency

Group Sites

Industry & Economy - Environment
States - West Bengal
Pollution threatens Digha sea resort

Antara Das

Sea water fit only for gardening, say experts

Kolkata , Nov. 13

Visitors to Digha, the popular sea resort in West Bengal that plays host to around 16 lakh tourists every year, are in for a nasty surprise - the shimmering sea water there has been considered by experts as unfit for all activities other than gardening.

"The shallow coastal water, highly contaminated with colliform bacteria from the inflowing untreated sewage as well as having high iron content and hardness, is, however, being extensively used by the hotels and local people," said Dr Sugata Hazra, Director, School of Oceanographic Studies, Jadavpur University.

To tackle these pollution concerns as well as problems of coastal erosion, loss of biodiversity and lack of administrative coordination, the Digha Shankarpur Development Authority (DSDA) has recently submitted a perspective plan containing a list of recommendations for the Integrated Coastal Zone Management of the area.

Nine mouzas in the area have already become depopulated, unable to bear the stress resulting from coastal erosion and inundation while 60 per cent of the local population in certain villages lies below the poverty line, Dr Hazra said. In fact, an overemphasis on tourism development in the area is leading to unplanned growth, at odds with the overall environmental management strategy.

"There is need for overall socio-economic development of the region, with proper schools and colleges, improved health facilities and resource mobilisation to generate earnings," said Mr Ananda Deb Mukhopadhyay, Chairman, DSDA.

"To that end, we have suggested setting up industries based on fish and food products, growing medicinal plants, developing aquaculture and generating biofuel from plants such as jatropha and polang (a local species)," he said.

"The sewage can be organically treated and utilised for sewage fed fisheries, on the lines of the East Kolkata wetlands," Dr Hazra said. "A nominal development fee can also be levied on the fish catch," he added. Fishing, the experts alleged, remained a sector where the traders and middlemen reap huge benefits, which are not ploughed back into the area. The unscientific hauling and unrestricted number of fishing trawlers are also leading to species loss, they said.

"To ensure that Digha is developed to its fullest potential, it is essential that the various government departments coordinate so that there is no overlapping of functions," Dr Mukhopadhyay said.

More Stories on : Environment | Resorts & Amusement Parks | West Bengal

Article E-Mail :: Comment :: Syndication :: Printer Friendly Page

Stories in this Section
Rains likely to dampen coffee output hopes

StanChart NRI Swagat account
ICICI Bank NRI deposit scheme
UP has most working children
Chidambaram seeks more Arab investments
The elixir of life
Pollution threatens Digha sea resort
Tariff value on edible oil: A tool to fight inflation
Novo Nordisk survey to take stock of diabetes control
World AIDS Day to be observed
SC clears land acquisition for Reliance SEZ
Coal-bed methane: BP to begin exploration in 2007
New Pharmacopoeia edition provides fresh insights
L&T teams up with Mitsubishi
Steel industry urged to upgrade product offerings to auto sector
UK team meets Ashwini Kumar
Kirana stores, getting refashioned by Hind Lever
Adobe Senior Vice-President's son abducted
Govt cautious on FM radio phase III rollout
Students need better `finish' to succeed in corporate world
Bengal's footwear sector seeks full VAT exemption
Scientist bags Ranbaxy award
Grameen Phone — doing things with a difference
No compromise on workers' rights: CITU
Uncertainty over trade fair venue irks Bengal chamber
Meet on natural products
Vaghela pegs cotton production at 270 lakh bales
Cell cos fare poorly in quality survey
Crackdown at Kochi port yields results

The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | The Hindu ePaper | Business Line | Business Line ePaper | Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | The Hindu Images | Home |

Copyright 2006, The Hindu Business Line. Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu Business Line