Two mega projects get CRZ nod

wo big-ticket development projects, mooted by Cochin Port Trust and BPCL-Kochi Refinery, have secured Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearance.

A special meeting of the Kerala Coastal Zone Management Authority on Thursday gave conditional clearance for the projects.

While the port trust obtained clearance for its Rs.970-crore project for the augmentation of existing ship repair facility at Wellingdon Island, the refinery got approval for laying the pipeline from North Tanker Berth/South Tanker Berth at Foreshore road to the Refinery. For the ship repair facility, the port trust has handed over the land to Cochin Shipyard for a 30-year lease.

The Authority observed that the proposed constructions were part of shipyard activities, which required waterfront. It was also a permissible activity as defined in the CRZ notification 2011.

However, the Authority suggested that the clearance of the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change need to be obtained as the “construction for facilities for ship repairing is not specified in the Environment Impact Assessment notification.”

The Authority also suggested that waste generated during the phase of demolition and construction of the project shall not be dumped in the CRZ area. While calling for a proper monitoring plan to safeguard the environment, it instructed that mangroves shall not be destroyed. No development activities shall be undertaken in the CRZ area, it said.

Pipeline project

Regarding the pipeline project for replacing the old crude oil pipeline, which also required the clearance from the Centre, the Authority said the laying of pipeline at river crossing shall be carried without obstructing the tidal flow of rivers.

A report prepared by the National Centre for Earth Science Studies had stated that the CRZ area of the project was limited on the banks of Vembanad and Kaniyampuzha. The company has been asked to obtain the consent of the Kerala State Pollution Control Board before forwarding the proposal to the Ministry.

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