Kattupalli port’s master plan in trouble

An expert appraisal committee of the Ministry of Environment and Forests looking into the revised master plan to develop the Kattupalli port of Adani Group has asked the project proponent to submit point-wise replies to the concerns of locals and re-submit the proposal as complaints have been received against the plan.

According to the minutes of the 38th Expert Appraisal Committee (Infrastructure-2), the proposal for grant of Terms of Reference to the proposed revised master plan development of the port was discussed at its meeting in February.

According to Marine Infrastructure Developer Private Limited (MIDPL), the project proponent, the revised master plan was being taken up considering the future business potential of the port. The ₹53,031 crore revised master plan development would be carried out on 2472.85 ha, the project proponent said, adding that this would provide direct employment to 1,500 youth in the catchment region and indirect employment to about 4,500 people.

During deliberations, the committee noted that the project/activity was covered under category ‘A’ (Ports, harbours, break waters, dredging) of the schedule to the EIA Notification, 2006 and its subsequent amendments and therefore required appraisal at Central level by sectoral EAC.

The committee noted that a number of complaints/representations relating to the proposal had been received by the Ministry/EAC.

The committee was of the opinion that before appraising the project for grant of Terms of Reference, concerns raised in the complaints/representations should be addressed. Accordingly, it asked the project proponent to submit replies on each of the points raised, with scientific/evidential supports.

In view of the observations, the EAC deferred the proposal and decided to reconsider it after the essential details were submitted.

‘Promises not kept’

Fishermen and other residents in the area said that promise of jobs for locals was not kept in any of the projects and the environment was being damaged.

Kalaivanan of Nettukuppam said there were two ports in their area, and the environmental damage caused could not be undone in a lifetime.

“The government and the port managements don't seem to be bothered about the environment. With flyash, dredging soil and temporary fillings for constructions obstructing waterways in our area, inland fishing has been badly hit. Not all of us fish in the sea,” he said.

Activist and Ennore resident R. L. Srinivasan said fishing grounds were shrinking each time the port expanded its boundaries.

“Like expanding on the seaside, the port is also growing on the landward side for which it had plans to board up what was left of the wetlands and even near the high tide line. For now, the expansion on the landward side has been stopped after residents protested, he added.

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Printable version | Apr 20, 2021 5:13:20 PM |

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