IFC norms not binding, says VISL

The Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) study of the proposed Vizhinjam International Deepwater Seaport is not governed by the guidelines of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) or its compliance advisor ombudsman (CAO), Vizhinjam International Seaport Ltd. (VSIL) has said.

The EIA for development of projects in the country are governed by the Acts, rules, notifications, guidelines and its amendments issued by the Union Government from time to time, VSIL Managing Director and Chief executive Officer A.S. Suresh Babu said in response to CAO’s ‘Compliance appraisal: summary of results.’

There are clear-cut procedures in the country for issuing environmental clearance to development projects. Any stakeholder aggrieved by the grant of clearance may approach the National Green Tribunal (NGT), he said.

It had been pointed out that VSIL obtained approval for terms of reference (ToR) for the EIA from the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) on June 10, 2011 and July 1, 2011. Based on the approved ToR, an all-season comprehensive EIA study, spanning 18 months and covering all social and environmental aspects, was carried out through MoEF-accredited consultants. The draft EIA report was published, followed by a public hearing on June 29, 2013, chaired by the District Magistrate. The opinion of the stakeholders and the general public were considered and the final EIA report was submitted on August 29, 2013.

After considering the reports, the MoEF issued the environmental clearance on January 3, 2014 with an exhaustive list of environmental monitoring and mitigation measures, for compliance during the project execution and operation stages. Some stakeholders, aggrieved by the issue of the clearance, approached the NGT. A case pending before the Supreme Court is posted for July 8.

Eco clearance granted on January 3, 2014

Cases pending

in Green Tribunal

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Printable version | Oct 23, 2020 9:29:53 AM |

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