CHENNAI: The Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) is likely to give approval for the massive expansion of Kattupalli Port, proposed by Adani Group, about 30 km from Chennai. An Expert Appraisal Committee (Infra-2) for projects related to All Ship Breaking Yard including Ports and Harbours, whose meeting was conducted in New Delhi on Friday, has reportedly granted Terms of Reference (ToR) for conducting environment impact assessment studies to obtain clearance.
On June 17, Ennarasu Karunesan, CEO, Marine Infrastructure Developer Pvt Ltd, a vertical of Adani Ports and Logistics, had written to Member Secretary of EAC (Infra-2), appealing to reappraise the port expansion project as the sub-committee, which was formed to conduct site inspection, has submitted its report. Though the content of the sub-committee report was not made public, Express has learnt from sources that the report did not raise any major concerns for the ministry to halt the project.
The sub-committee consisting of HC Sharatchandra, VS Naidu and MV Ramana Murthy of EAC (Infra-2), along with a representative of the ministry’s regional office in Chennai and Deepak Gautam, research officer in the environment ministry, have conducted a two-day site visit on June 3-4 and submitted their report.
Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd (APSEZ), is investing a whopping `53,031 crore to ramp the Kattupalli port’s capacity from 24.65 million tonnes (mt) of cargo to 320 mt.
Express had reported about the port expansion and how it would endanger neighbouring Pulicat lake, which is the country’s second largest brackish water lake and large spans of Ennore creek wetlands. The revised master plan development of Kattupalli Port, for which approvals are being sought, will be carried out in a total area of 2,472.85 hectares. The planned expansion will also make Kattupalli India’s deepest port with an average berth depth of as much as 25m.
Durai Mahendran of Tamil Nadu Fishermen Association from Pulicat, told Express that the facilities proposed in the revised master plan involves conversion of 2,807 acres of the Ennore Creek and its associated wetlands into industrial real estate. However, Adani officials, in a written reply to representation of CAG ( (Citizen consumer and civic action group), claimed that Ennore creek was located on the southern side and the port expansion was planned mostly towards north and north westwards and will not have direct impact on the creek.
“Land use proposed as a part of Revised Master plan, is in line to the permissible activities, as per CRZ notification 2011, amended till date,” Port officials said.