THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Amid concerns that the construction of the massive breakwater for the Vizhinjam seaport would adversely impact the environment as thousands of tonnes of rock would be needed, Ports Minister K Babu said that the government would ensure that the environment is protected.
‘’The government will not favour any activity which will adversely impact the environment. The construction will follow all existing laws and regulations,’’ Babu said here on Tuesday, after chairing a meeting on the project.
Experts concur that the breakwater is going to be the biggest challenge in the implementation of the Rs 7,525-crore port project. According to the concession agreement signed between the government and Adani Group, the breakwater has to have a minimum length of 3.1 km, a ten metre-wide breakwater top road and the breakwater should be designed to ‘’withstand a minimum significant wave 4.7 metres high.’’
Babu said that the construction of the breakwater and procurement of construction material for it is the responsibility of the concessionaire. ‘’They reportedly have plans to bring in rock from Mangaluru also,’’ he said. However, greens have already expressed concerns regarding the quarrying of rock.
Meet of Stakeholders
The state government will soon call together a joint meeting of all groups representing the coastal communities that have expressed concerns regarding the project’s impact on their livelihood. The government had held two meetings with the Vizhinjam Port Action Council led by the Latin Archdiocese of Thiruvananthapuram, one meeting with the Jama-a’ts in the project area and one meeting with the Dheevara Sabha. ‘’We have an open mind on this issue. The government does not want to discuss the matter with any one section alone,’’ said Babu. ‘’Solutions will be arrived at after discussions,’’ he said. He also reiterated that the project report already accounts for rehabilitation of the affected communities.