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Wednesday, June 26

The national waterway project may put the turtles of Varanasi Ghats at stake, claims new study

Boats at Varanasi Ghats in Banaras, Uttar Pradesh, India
(Image credit: Jorge Royan/Wikimedia commons)

Large vessel movement through the Ganga River as part of the proposed National Waterway-1 system under Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP) will pose a major threat to the geomorphology of the river and endanger the habitat of soft shell turtles in Varanasi Turtle Sanctuary (VTS), claim researchers from IIT Kanpur and Wildlife Institute of India.

According to their study published in the Current Science journal, the geomorphology within the VTS has remained stable for the past 50 years, except for some minor changes. National Waterway-1 system under JMVP which proposes to connect Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh and Haldia in West Bengal, enabling the movement of large cargo vessels through VTS, may disturb this stability, says the study.