NGT expert committee reviews Vizhinjam port construction, environmental issues

Published - January 08, 2023 07:01 pm IST - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

The expert committee appointed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has reviewed the environmental studies and observations related to the construction of the Vizhinjam port and its impact on the adjacent coastline after visiting the project site and the nearby coastal region.

The NGT had earlier appointed the Expert Committee and Shoreline Monitoring Cell to monitor the shoreline changes in the project area—within 10 km on either side—at the cost of the project proponent.

The committee members, who visited the project site on Thursday and Friday, reviewed the environmental impact studies being carried out by agencies like the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT), the National Centre for Earth Science Studies (NCESS), and the study regarding marine wealth by Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI), said a recent release issued by the Vizhinjam International Seaport Limited.

The committee directed the NIOT team to submit a detailed report for approval after examining the white paper issued to clear the doubts of people regarding the port project and apprehensions about the alleged port-induced coastal erosion. The committee members also interacted with the beneficiaries of the various social welfare schemes being implemented as part of the port construction.

Though the committee has only a mandate to examine the shoreline changes within 10 km north and south of the port, the committee visited Shanghumughom Beach and Valiyathura beach in the light of allegations of coastal erosion, and examined the beach formed in the area after the monsoon. It also analysed the data regarding shoreline changes along the coast since 2000, especially the changes along the coast during pre and post-port construction periods.

The port construction has been going on at a brisk pace after the strike by the fishermen led by the Latin Archdiocese, Thiruvananthapuram, called off in December. Industrialist Gautam Adani’s son Karan Adani has scheduled to call on Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Chief Secretary V.P. Joy here on January 6 and 7. However, the meeting was postponed due to various reasons.

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