National institutes to study coastal ecosystem

Bhubaneswar: Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh on Saturday announced Centre`s plan to set up two National institutes for specialised studies on coastal ecosystem and turtles in Orissa at an investment of Rs 50 crore.

Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) would help establish two institutes including a National Centre for Wetland and Coastal Eco-system Studies at a cost of Rs 40 crore, Ramesh told reporters here.

Stating that the amount would be spent over the next five years, he said the Centre would operate from Bhubaneswar and Chilika.

Similarly, a Centre for Turtles and Bio-diversity Studies would be established at an investment of Rs ten crore for which location would be decided by the state government, the environment minister said.

"We are committed to establish the turtle studies centre as Orissa is perhaps the most favoured nesting site for the rare Olive Ridley sea turtles," he said.

"I believe this time over seven lakh turtles visited the Orissa coast for mass nesting," Ramesh said adding that turtles are of ecological and cultural significance and form an important part of the country`s heritage.

The announcement for establishment of the two national institutes came a day after the union minister said that a technical institute would be set up in Bhitarkanika national park area in Kendrapara district to train local youths in plumbing and and coir industries.