Gangetic dolphins Current Affairs - 2020

Assam Baghjan Oil Well Fire

On June 9, 2020, a massive fire engulfed the Baghjan oil well of Assam. The well of the Oil India Limited had blown out on May 27, 2020 and has been leaking gas for the past 14 days.

Highlights

The accident is causing huge damages and is leaking gas. The smoke from the site could be seen from 10 km of radius. The Indian Air Force has been helping in firefighting operations. The Indian Army has also reached the place and is in operation.

The National Disaster Response Force team was deployed since the time of gas leak.

Environmental Impacts

The incident is depositing gas condensate in the Maguri Beel Wet Land. This is affecting the flora and fauna of the region. Carcasses of endangered Gangetic dolphins and aquatic life are seen floating in the Dibru-Saikhowa National park. The paddy fields, wetlands and ponds have also been contaminated and the threats are increasing.

Around 6,000 people living around the natural gas producing well have been evacuated. Rs 30,000 has been announced for these affected families. The tea growers in the region also have complained layers of gas condensates in tea garden.

National Chambal Sanctuary declared as Eco-Sensitive Zone

On March 2, 2020, the Government of India declared National Chambal Sanctuary as Eco-Sensitive Zone. The Sanctuary is home to Gangetic Dolphins and critically endangered Gharials.

Highlights

The Sanctuary is home to naturally living Gharials. 75% of Gharials live in the Sanctuary. It also harbours 180 species of migratory birds and fresh water Gangetic Dolphins. Being declared as Eco Sensitive Zone, construction of resorts, hotels or other residential and industrial activities are prohibited.

National Chambal Sanctuary

The Sanctuary begins in the Vindhyan Ranges, extends along the Chambal river and ends in Yamuna river. It is spread across Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.

Eco-Sensitive Zone

The Eco-Sensitive Zones are protected areas that act as “shock absorbers”. They also act as transition zones. They are governed by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate change. The governing is an important factor as land is a state subject. There are no acts that regulate the zones. However, they are regulated with guidelines framed by the Ministry.