CHENNAI : Even as the Union government has initiated the clearance process for the mega Adani Kattupalli port expansion, north of Chennai, the resultant environmental concerns have been raised in Rajya Sabha on Monday.
During the Zero Hour, Karnataka MP and former environment minister Jairam Ramesh, made a mention in Rajya Sabha on how the proposed port expansion would endanger the Ennore-Pulicat ecosystem.
Ramesh, who took to Twitter to share his statement, says, “The proposed construction of a megaport complex in North Chennai by a private company with dubious environmental credentials, will irretrievably damage the Ennore Pulicat ecosystem with its invaluable mangroves and salt marshes. The Kattupalli island also separates Pulicat lake - the second largest brackish water lake in India - from Bay of Bengal.”
“The Kattupalli dunes protect the hinterland from violent storms and salinity intrusion. The Ennore-Pulicat backwaters absorb rainwater and tidal storm surges. Encroaching these wetlands will place nearly 10 lakh people in the region, at heightened risk of disastrous flooding. Erosion triggered by the port’s breakwaters will breach the narrow barrier separating Pulicat lake from the sea, and merge the lake with the Bay of Bengal. The project threatens the livelihood and security of more than 30,000 fisherfolk who depend on the backwaters and the sea,” Ramesh said.
He has urged the Union Environment Ministry to reject the proposal at the current site and protect Tamil Nadu from further disasters. Meanwhile, a delegation of leaders from the fishing community has submitted a memorandum to Tiruvallur district collector Mageshwari Ravikumar on Monday, expressing their reservation over the proposed project.
Narasingh, head, Pulicat Lighthouse panchayat that represents 13 fishing villages, said, “Decline of fishing grounds will leave more than 50,000 people in the lurch, with no alternate livelihoods. Further, any damage to Pulicat lake will affect fisherfolk from more than 45 villages.