Logistics

Vizhinjam project gets Centre's nod for environmental impact study

Our Bureau Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on June 01, 2011

Green signal: The offshore installation set up at theproposed Vizhinjam port to conduct preliminary studies. (filephoto).   -  THE HINDU





The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) has finally extended its nod for the Terms of Reference (ToR) with respect to the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) for the multi-thousand-crore Vizhinjam International Seaport and Container Transhipment Terminal project coming up near here.

The Union Shipping Ministry has expressed the Centre's interest to partner with the project, sources in the Government said, suggestive of the ‘serious intent' with which it views the project.

EXPEDITED DISPOSAL

A meeting of the Expert Appraisal Committee under the MoEF took up the case, originally not listed on the agenda, for disposal late on Tuesday after the State Government urged expedited settlement of the matter, the sources said.

The Government has been engaging the Centre on the issue immediately after assuming office, Mr K. Babu, Minister for Excise and Ports, said here.

The United Democratic Front Government was committed to delivering on the project, the Minister said, adding that clearance of ToR represented the first step towards attaining this goal.

The Chief Minister, Mr Oommen Chandy, had met the Union Environment and Forests Minister, Mr Jairam Ramesh, in New Delhi on May 20 to discuss the issue.

SERIES OF MEETINGS

Mr Chandy had also been in constant communication with the Union Minister through Tuesday. The Ports Department too had been at the job all through last week, Mr Babu said.

This apart, a 15-member team led by Mr Manoj Joshi, Secretary, Ports, Kerala, had met the Expert Appraisal Committee of the MoEF on Tuesday.

The committee had rejected the ToR application from the State twice earlier on, in January and in early May.

In January, the MoEF committee had blamed the State Government for submitting a vague ToR, which it could not consider for clearance.

FEASIBILITY STUDY

The January meeting felt that multiple port projects planned all along the southern coastline would make it imperative that extreme caution is taken to prevent possible degradation of the environment on an extended scale.

In May, the proposal was rejected a second time for fear of adverse impact on the fisheries in the area.

The committee even went to the extent of directing the State Government to conduct a fresh techno-economic feasibility if only to ensure that Vizhinjam survives competition thrown up by similar projects proposed along the western and eastern seaboards.

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Published on June 01, 2011
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