Meeting on Olive Ridley turtles put back to 10th May

Vol 9, PW 2 (04 May 05) News in Brief

Lack of time has forced the environment and oil ministries to push back the date of a meeting to resolve a row over the impact of exploration drilling on endangered Olive Ridley turtles on Indias east coast.

Originally scheduled for 21st April, the meeting has been postponed to 10th May. To blame for this is the ongoing session of parliament, cited by environment ministry officials as to why they couldnt make the original date.

Mani Shankar Aiyar was scheduled to chair the meeting, attended by officials from both ministries and representatives from affected companies. Worst hit is Reliance.

In January, Reliance was banned from drilling in the Mahanadi basin by the environment ministry until it carried out detailed studies on turtle migration and nesting patterns. Reliance hired Orissas Berhampur University for the study but the environment ministry wants it to be co-ordinated by the Wildlife Institute of India in Dehra Dun.

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