The state government has issued a GO revoking earlier orders of allotment of porampok lands to the power company that has proposed to set up the Thirukuvalai Power Plant at Kaarapidagai.

As per the GO, the government has revoked orders of allotment of over 743 hectares on grounds that the Detailed Project Report, financial closure, rehabilitation, relief package and local area development plans were not in compliance with the mutually agreed proposals of the government.

Tridem Port and Power Company Limited has proposed to implement the 1820MW Thirukkuvalai Thermal Power Plant at Kaarapidagai here Nagapattinam at a cost of Rs.9,100 crore.

The thermal power project has envisaged a Rs.1,250 crore port at Vizhundhumavadi that would be an ancillary coal-handling facility for the thermal power station.

The projects have been conceived as an integrated proposal.

However, the CRZ clearance for the port is pending before the district Coastal Regulation Zone Authority. Earlier, at the Coastal Regulation Zone Authority meeting, the Tamil Nadu Forest Department, Nagapattinam Division, had submitted its comments to the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board, against the establishment of the port on grounds that the entire stretch was a nesting ground for the Olive Ridley turtles. According to the submission, the stretch from Point Calimere to Nagapattinam is one of the important nesting grounds for Olive Ridley turtles. Further, the forest department had also cleared some hectares of shelter bed plantation to facilitate Olive Ridley turtle nesting. Further, the reported nesting in the proposed area of port development has also been submitted by Centre of Advanced Study and Marine Biology, Annamalai Univerity.

Additionally, the project would entail removal of over 36 hectare of shelter bed plantations raised and maintained by the forest department under the World Bank funded Emergency Tsunami Reconstruction Project, the forest department submission states.

Earlier, people had raised their opposition to the Thirukuvalai thermal power project at a public hearing conducted for the project at Kaarapidagai on October 30.

However, the Ministry Of Environment and Forests had issued its environmental clearance dated December 9, 2009, for the thermal project. The MOEF clearance has not taken into account the pending approval for the Port with CRZA, considering the Company’s Environmental Impact Assesment (EIA) report of the thermal project states that the “plant area would be suitably elevated using the dredged material from the port and ash pond area”.

According to the EIA, “the project site is almost level with the grade level varying between -0.4m to +0.4m w.r.t the MSL” and will be “suitably elevated (from +1.5m to 2.5m above MSL) using dredged material from Port”.

According to official sources, the MOEF clearance was oblivious to the pending status of the Port proposal.

Now, the latest GO.19 of the State Government, dated January 13, 2010 has revoked orders of allotment of Porampok lands at Keezhapidagai, Kaarapidagai North and Kaarapidagai South, on various other premises.

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