Port expansion continues amid ‘green’ row

Despite opposition from fishermen and environmental scientists, KSPL is readying intrastate to increase its cargo handling capacity

April 17, 2015 12:00 am | Updated 05:48 am IST - KAKINADA:

The construction of the seventh berth at the Kakinada Deepwater Port is going on, despite the move drawing flak from various quarters. Not just the fishermen, but environmental scientists have also been vehemently opposing the port expansion, raising doubts over the carrying capacity of the water body to perform the increased load of activity and its impact on the environment.

The Kakinada Seaports Limited (KSPL), the promoter of the deepwater port, has expanded the quay length of the port from 610 metre to 2,500 metre in the last 10 years to pave the way for multi-product handling and to create a standalone facility for off-shore supplies. In addition to the existing six berths, the KSPL has proposed to build the seventh one as part of its expansion plan. With this, fishermen from the Kakinada coast have been in a fear of subsequent drop in the catch due to the expansion. “Carrying capacity of the Kakinada Bay is poor, owing to its 16-km spread and an average depth of only three metres ,” says T. Rajyalakshmi, former Director of the Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture. “We have already got the clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Forests and a no-objection certificate from the pollution control board,” KSPL general manager (operations) Jacob Satyaraju said.

Despite opposition from fishermen and environmental scientists, KSPL is readying intrastate to increase its cargo handling capacity

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