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| Last Updated:27/11/2018

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Centre approves setting up a turtle sanctuary in Allahabad

Amid uncertainty over the fate of existing turtle sanctuary in Varanasi, the government has given its go ahead for setting up a new centre to conserve this aquatic creature in Allahabad.

 

               

 

Idea of this project - called 'Developing River Biodiversity Park and Turtle Conservation Programme' - along Ganga-Yamuna river system in Allahabad is to protect rich aquatic biodiversity of both the rivers and preserve all those species which act as natural cleaning agents.

 

Turtles, being carnivorous, can help scavenge half-burnt corpses and naturally aid in cleaning the river water.

 

The project, approved by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), includes a Turtle Rearing Centre (permanent nursery at Triveni Pushp and makeshift annual hatcheries) in Allahabad. It also includes setting up a river biodiversity park at Sangam (confluence of the rivers Ganga, Yamuna and mythical Sarasvati).

 

The clearance to this Rs 1.34 crore project was given by an executive committee, headed by the NMCG's director general U P Singh, last week.

 

"The centre in Allahabad will, however, not be a 'sanctuary' in technical terms as notification of sanctuary has certain legal connotations and it may then restrict works on waterways", said an official.

 

The Allahabad project will be in addition to a rescue and rehabilitation centre for turtles at Sarnath near Varanasi which the government had set up through Wildlife Institute of India (WII) under the NMCG's biodiversity project.

 

The turtle sanctuary in Varanasi was set up in 1989 under the Ganga Action Plan-I. Its fate, however, remains uncertain at present as there has been discussion within the Union environment ministry over demands of its de-notification.

 

Though the Varanasi centre continues to be a 'sanctuary', there has been demand from certain quarters to de-notify it on the ground that the ongoing sand extraction on one side leads to increased pressure on the 'ghats' which may lead to their caving in. They argue that sand removal from the other side is not possible due to area being notified as 'sanctuary'.

 

On the other hand, there are studies which show that sand extraction on the convex side is not affecting the ghats' stability in any way. It also indicates that the 'sanctuary' notification and consequent restrictions on the activities in the area has led to growth of vegetation on the other side.

 

 

Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/