Opposition to Tadadi port plan

The government’s move to embark on the Rs. 38,000-crore sea port construction project at Tadadi village in Uttara Kannada district has been criticised by some as “keeping the public in the dark”.

Karnataka State Industrial Investment and Development Corporation (KSIIDC) is proposing to develop the port on 1,416 acres under the public private partnership (PPP) mode. The port will handle 34.25 tonnes per annum (TPA) initially and with the final designed capacity of 62.36 TPA.

However, members of the nearby Gokarna, Kagala and Hiregutti gram panchayats as well as fishermen and farmers’ organisations said they had received no information about the project. Even the public hearing on March 23 has not been publicised, they say.

Anant Hegde Ashisar, former Chairman of the Western Ghats Task Force, who is spearheading the protest, said though the government was actively pursuing the project, the affected persons were unaware of the ramifications.

He believed nearly 1 lakh people would be displaced, while the local economy — dependent on fishing and tourism — will be adversely affected.

“The project area falls in the estuary region of the Aghanashini, which is one of the eco-sensitive hotspots housing forest area … It is certain that the damage will be irreparable,” he said.

Scientist V.N. Naik said that the port would attract 1.5 lakh lorries carrying 6 crore tonnes of ore annually. “The pollution from the ore dust, dredging of the estuary and release of affluent is indeterminable … Instead, ports at Karwar and Belikeri could have been expanded,” he said.

‘Guidelines followed’

Staff reporter from Bengaluru adds:

KSIIDC Managing Director Naveen Raj Singh denied the allegations of implementing the project surreptitiously. “The guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court on disseminating information have been followed. Project details have been sent to gram panchayats and the Deputy Commissioner’s office,” he said. With other ports in the district being too close to the naval base at Karwar, he believed Tadadi was suitable for Karnataka’s largest port.

He said the studies commissioned for the project had taken the views of the people in the area. “Government land is being mainly used for this. The displacement and environmental damage is as little as it can be,” said Mr. Singh.

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Printable version | Mar 1, 2021 7:52:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/opposition-to-tadadi-port-plan/article6988671.ece

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