The Union Ministry of Environment and Forests, insisting on strict compliance with over 30 specific conditions, has accorded Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearance for construction of an elevated road from the Chennai port to Maduravoyal.

After scrutinising the documents submitted, the Expert Appraisal Committee had recommended CRZ clearance for the project subject to compliance with conditions, mostly during the construction phase.

As a precondition before starting work, the MoEF has ordered the setting up of a high-level advisory and monitoring committee under the chairmanship of the Chief Secretary and including secretaries of Environment and Public Works Department, experts and other stake holders.

The State Coastal Zone Management Authority would have to be fully involved in the monitoring process and during construction and operation.

Apart from obtaining all necessary clearances, the project proponents should ensure there was no hindrance to free flow of water in the Cooum river at any point of time and that necessary mitigating measures were in place against adverse impact on water bodies.

The MoEF has also asked for the status of the families to be rehabilitated as of 2010 and the action programme and the plan showing the Singapore model of Cooum restoration and the location of pillars prior to the commencement of work.

In its communication to Chairman, Chennai Port Trust, the Ministry cautioned against any construction work other than what is permitted in CRZ notification. There should not be any disposal of solid or liquid waste into the water body. All the top soil excavated during construction should be stored for use in horticulture / landscape development within the project site.

Fly ash should be used as building material in the construction as per the provisions of Fly Ash Notification 1999. Ready-mixed concrete must be used in construction, the MoEF said.

Other conditions include taking into account seismic nature of the area in the design and provision for longitudinal drains all along the project road and adequate under passes and culverts to ensure proper drainage area.

The CRZ clearance is subject to the final order of the Supreme Court in the matter of Goa Foundation Vs Union of India in Writ Petition (Civil) No. 460 of 2004, as might be applicable to this project, the MoEF stated in its communication.