Thiruvananthapuram

Technopark Phase 3 site inspected

A joint site inspection was conducted in an area coming under Technopark Phase III by officials of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF), the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIA), and the State Expert Appraisal Committee.

The inspection was ordered based on a complaint filed by the NGO Environmental Protection and Research Council (EPRC) alleging that the environmental clearance for a plot owned by Dragonstone Realty Private Limited was obtained by misrepresenting the actual area of the Taurus Downtown Trivandrum project.

As per the complaint, in the application for environmental clearance, the built-up area was shown as 1.33 lakh square metres, instead of the actual 3.49 lakh square metres. Thus the clearance for the project was given under category A instead of category B.

Dispute

The site inspection began with a dispute on the area under consideration. While the complainants maintained that the entire project area of 21.98 acres, including a Special Economic Zone area over which they had raised another complaint regarding the filling up of wetland, also had to be considered, the officials said the order for inspection was only to consider the 9.7 acres of non-SEZ area.

“We had filed the complaint regarding the entire project area, but the inspection was limited only to the non-SEZ area. Later in the afternoon, the officials paid a visit to the other site too, after a meeting with the agricultural officer, who said the reclamation of wetland in the area would have major environmental impact. We have also given all the evidence that they had asked for,” said S.J. Sanjeev of the EPRC.

Taurus CEO Anil Kumar said the complaint regarding environmental clearance was an attempt to misguide the ministry.

“We have not yet seen the copy of the complaint, but from what we have gathered from various sources, it does not have any basis. We put across all the facts regarding the land to the inspection team,” he said.

In December last year, the National Green Tribunal had ordered the District Collector to look into the alleged mass destruction of wetlands and a pond as part of the expansion works of the phase 3 of Technopark, in the area coming under the SEZ. The Collector is learnt to have already filed a report regarding this.


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Printable version | Jul 27, 2021 5:56:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/technopark-phase-3-site-inspected/article27190682.ece

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