THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) will take up the case related to the Vizhinjam seaport project on Monday even as Kerala has opposed the demand that Coastal Zone Management Authorities (CZMA)of other states should be impleaded in the case.
State government port company Vizhinjam International Seaport Ltd (VISL) has also petitioned the NGT to summon the persons who have lodged complaints against the NGT so that they can be cross-examined under oath.
The petitioners, demanding withdrawal of the environment clearance given to the project, had asked NGT to implead Coastal Zone Management Authorities of eight coastal states and four UTs in the case. They sought directions to protect and safeguard ‘coastal areas of outstanding natural beauty’ under CRZ-1. Although this provision was there in the 1991 notification, it was deleted in 2011.
VISL, in its petition, contends that the petitioners are trying to stall the case by unnecessarily prolonging the proceedings before the National Green Tribunal. VISL has also brought to the notice a television interview given by one of the applicants saying that he was ignorant of the NGT proceedings and that he wanted to remove his name from the list of petitioners.
VISL has asked the NGT to summon the petitioners and cross-examine them under oath. According to the VISL, the interview makes it “abundantly clear” that petitioners are merely “fronts” for persons with ulterior motives who wish to stall the project. VISL is also understood to have submitted the said television interview to the NGT.
Additionally, the company has also asked the NGT to issue an order asking the petitioners to submit details of their source of funds, call records, bank statements and educational qualifications.
Vizhinjam International Seaport Ltd officials said that the company hoped to open the financial bids for the project on September 30 as planned.