Tamil Nadu

TOR granted for Kattupalli port’s Revised Master Plan

The Environment Ministry’s Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) has granted Terms of Reference for the Revised Master Plan for the development of the Kattupalli port, with several conditions, following site visits carried out by a sub-committee of the EAC.

The project proponent, Marine Infrastructure Developer Private Limited (MIDPL), submitted before the EAC that the Revised Master Plan for the port will be carried out in a 2,472.85-ha area, which includes 133.50 ha of existing area, 761.8 ha of government land, 781.4 ha of private land and proposed sea reclamation of 796.15 ha.

“Total quay length of berth proposed as a part of revised master plan development will be 11,467 m in addition to 1,250-m-long barge berths, and 2 no. SPMs are being proposed,” the project proponent said. Also, apart from the existing breakwater, new breakwaters of about 12.10-km length are being proposed, out of which the new northern breakwaters will be about 9.02 and 1.22 km and the new southern breakwater will be about 1.86 km.

When the committee members undertook site visits on June 3 and 4, the local community made a number of representations. These included highlighting the livelihood and subsistence concerns of the people of Urnambedu village, on the western banks of the Kosasthalaiyar river estuary; underscoring that the project is set to come up in sites where no industrial development has taken place so far; and that a significant proportion of the salt pans here serve as areas for traditional prawn farming, inland fishing and bloodworm collection during the monsoon months.

“The proposal to reclaim 2,232 acres from the sea, extending the north breakwater of the Kaattupalli port beyond the Karungali estuary, will have extremely serious coastal erosion implications up to Pulicat lake and Sriharikota,” they told the sub-committee. They also raised a number of other concerns on the second day.

Following this, the sub-committee submitted a report to the EAC.

After deliberations, the EAC decided to grant TOR for preparation of the Environmental Impact Assessment for the project. Among the conditions laid down by the EAC was a direction to the project proponent to “prepare a detailed biodiversity impact assessment report and management plan through the NIO or any other institute of repute on marine, brackish water and fresh water ecology and biodiversity”.

“The report shall study the impact on the rivers, estuary and the sea and include the intertidal biotopes, corals and coral communities, molluscs, sea grasses, sea weeds, subtidal habitats, fishes, other marine and aquatic micro, macro and mega flora and fauna including benthos, plankton, turtles, birds etc., as also the productivity. The data collection and impact assessment shall be as per standard survey methods,” the EAC said.

Measures for the protection of the general ecosystem of the Kosasthalaiyar estuary, including mangroves, collection of three seasons’ data in the coastal region as well as the estuarine region at the proposed site, collection of data at mouth, present at the northern end of the project, and at salt pans present in western Kosasthalaiyar, particularly during the monsoon, along with the other places, were among the conditions imposed by the EAC.

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Printable version | Apr 21, 2021 12:30:04 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/tor-granted-for-kattupalli-ports-revised-master-plan/article28740423.ece

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