Dredging by Indian Oil Corp at the 15 mln ton Paradip oil refinery project is causing environmental concerns. It is alleged the dredging of the river basin is being carried out in violation of the dredging plans prepared by the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), Goa. The particular patch of the river bed was selected for dredging after a study by the NIO.
It is alleged that the dredging will expedite land slides along the Paradip coast, causing the sea to engulf large parts of the villages under the Posco-India's proposed site.
Since the proposed refinery site is a low-lying area, reclamation is required by filling with sand. The Rs 389.37 crore contract was awarded to dredge the Jatadhari Mohan creek at a distance between six and 12 km from the site of the refinery. The changes in the dredging site will help the company in saving to the tune of Rs 120 crore as the distance for transportation of the sand will be reduced by about 12 km. However, violating the contract, the dredging company has now been asked to carry out the dredging operations at a distance between 0 to 6 km from the site of the refinery. Since the dredging will be on the new mouth of the river, there is a possibility of soil erosion eating away five villages - Dhinkia, Gobindpur, Nuagoan, Patna and Mahala - of coastal Paradip.