Chennai

Activists raise their voice against Kattupalli port expansion

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‘State must ensure project gets quashed at proposal stage’

Activists on Wednesday slammed the granting of Terms of Reference (ToR) for the expansion of the Kattuppalli port by the Adani Group’s Marine Infrastructure Developers Pvt. Ltd. (MIDPL).

The Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) of the Ministry of Environment had early this month recommended granting ToR for the project with a large number of conditions. This, despite a sub-committee of the EAC report stating that the north coast near Kattupalli village was under severe erosion and the southern coast of Ennore was witnessing accretion (attributable to breakwater) after the construction of the Ennore port. A tidal creek, some 2.8 km away, was also silting up rapidly causing concern to nearby power plants drawing cooling water from it, the report had pointed out.

At a press conference organised by the Save Ennore Creek Campaign, retired Madras High Court judge Hariparanthaman said, “The EAC should not have granted the ToR. Forget the stage of the Environmental Impact Assessment, even the ToR should be cancelled,” he said.

The company was planning to reclaim 2,000 acres in the sea by dumping dredged material. “This is an ecologically sensitive area. This type of activity cannot be carried out,” he argued.

He said the Tamil Nadu government should ensure that the project gets quashed at the proposal stage itself. Otherwise it was setting itself up for environmental disasters that are certain to follow in the coming years, he cautioned.

G. Sundarrajan of Poovulagin Nanbargal said the project would cause severe environmental damage and the Kancheepuram-Chennai-Tiruvallur belt would come under undue stress.

Ignoring memo

Sudhir, a teacher of architecture, who had undertaken an independent study of the region, said the EAC had ignored the memo of its own findings and had issued ToR to the company. As per a 2009 office memorandum of the MoEF, the setting up of ports in high erosion zones or ecologically sensitive areas was prohibited and the EAC had gone against this by granting the ToR.

Residents of the localities in the vicinity of the project also called for the immediate cancellation of the ToR, said Nityanand Jayaraman of Save Ennore Creek Campaign.

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2019 12:06:37 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/activists-raise-their-voice-against-kattupalli-port-expansion/article28777249.ece

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