Bhadrak, Feb 8: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has asked the Centre to take appropriate action within eight weeks to protect the Wheeler Island, India’s lone missile test-firing range, from erosion and to ensure friendly atmosphere for the endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles.
Acting on a petition by environmentalist Radhakanta Tripathy, the Commission has directed the Union Home secretary to take necessary steps in this regard.
The petitioner has alleged that the Island has witnessed continued erosion due to inaction of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT).
“While about 300 metres of sand area have been submerged in the sea that has become a major worry for the local inhabitants, the test-fire of missiles have put adverse impacted the Olive Ridley sea turtles along the Gahirmatha coast, closer to the Island, during their mass nesting”, Tripathy added.
He has also urged the Commission to direct the DRDO to request Indian Coast Guard and the Indian Navy to intensify patrolling to the protect the endangered turtles.