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Pti

Cuttack: Expressing concern over deaths of Olive Ridley turtles that have been visiting the beaches of Odisha and the worsening environment along the state's coastline despite repeated court orders, the Orissa High Court has taken suo motu cognisance of a recent article published in an online news service on the issue.

A division bench of Chief Justice S Muralidhar and Justice B P Routray Tuesday issued notices to several government officials along with the environment and forest secretary to apprise the court by Friday about steps taken to deal with the crises highlighted in the "Down To Earth" news service article authored by Kendrapara-based journalist Ashis Senapati.

The article mentions the deaths of some 800 turtles in Odisha since January this year in the Gahirmatha marine sanctuary, the worlds largest rookery of sea turtles.

It also mentions that the sea turtles are in danger due to the presence of plastic, polythene and other litter at the sanctuary as well as at the Rushikulya beach, which is another nesting site for the Olive Ridley turtles.

The High Court taking cognisance of the issue, observed that the matter had been taken up by the Court since 1994 and had passed several orders in two separate petitions.

"It is a matter of concern that despite several directions having been issued over the years, nothing much appears to have happened to improve the situation", the bench observed while appointing an amicus curia to assist the court in the matter.

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