Cyclone Phailin with a wind speed of 220km per hour is turning into a super cyclone before making landfall on Saturday evening near Gopalpur in Odisha where the government has galvanized its machin

The severe cyclonic storm Phailin over east central Bay of Bengal on Friday further intensified and is all set to make a landfall close to Gopalpur in Odisha at a wind speed of at least 205 kmph to

It is expected to cross coast between Kalingapatnam and Paradip by Saturday

The authorities in 23 cyclone-prone districts of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh are bracing themselves to tackle any exigency as a cyclonic storm intensified in the Bay of Bengal on Thursday and is expected to cross the coast between Kalingapatnam and Paradip (close to Gopalpur) by Saturday evening.

With cyclonic storm Phailin staring at the mainland from the sea, about 950 km from the Odisha port of Paradip, the state government on Wednesday cancelled the Dussehra holidays of its employees in 14 coastal districts and put them on disaster-management duty.

An official bulletin said the cyclonic storm is likely to be preceded by heavy rain in the next 12 hours. Distant cautionary signal No. 1 was hoisted at Paradip and Gopalpur ports, asking fishermen not to venture into the sea.

When the hearing on dispensation of environmental clearance for POSCO project is going on in National Green Tribunal and stay order for cutting trees continues, the announcement of starting construction by the Ambassador of Korea and the Chief Minister is nothing but to dishonor the rule of law as well as against international human rights law.

Joon-gyu Lee, South Korea’s ambassador to India, on Monday said the foundation stone for Posco India’s 12-million-tonne steel project in Orissa is likely to be laid early next year. He added that the president of South Korea might do the honours.

“The state government has successfully completed land acquisition for the project. I hope everything will be ready for construction to begin,” he said.

Construction of a mega-steel plant in Odisha in Eastern India should be halted immediately, United Nations independent human rights experts have urged, citing serious human rights concerns.

Illegal sand mining continues unabated on the beaches of Kendrapada and Jagatsinghpur.

This is particularly true to Paradip, Gadabisunipur, Padmapur, Ramatala, Siali, Kalapeti, Abhayachandapur in Kujang and Ersama blocks of Jagatsinghpur and Pentha beach in Kendrapada district.

The NGT, in its last hearing on August 12, had asked MoEF to take a decision on revalidation of green clearance for Posco by August 23

At least 120 persons of five villages in Naugaon block are affected by jaundice.