CHENNAI: The Madras High Court on Friday ordered the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) to file a detailed report on the plea seeking direction to the pollution authority to conduct a public hearing for expansion of Kattupalli Port in strict compliance with the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification.
According to the petitioner, P Ethiraj, a fisherman from Pazhaverkadu stated that TNPCB has issued a notification under the EIA Notification, 2006 Marine Infrastructure Developer Private Limited’s proposed expansion of Kattupalli port from 24 MTPA to 320 MTPA.
"Due to the planned fourteen-fold increase in capacity of the port, the shoreline to the north of the port will be majorly impacted where my village Arangankuppam and several other fishing hamlets are located," he added.
“Under Clause 7 (III) (ii) and (iii) of the EIA Notification, a public hearing for ascertaining the views of locally affected people shall be conducted at the site or in its close proximity. However, the board has notified the public hearing at Bhagwan Mahaveer Auditorium in Minjur, which is located 20 kms from the project site at a venue that is not well connected by public transport,” the petitioner stated.
The Tiruvallur district collector P Ponniah had on Tuesday announced that the public hearing, originally scheduled for Friday, has been postponed to avoid any consequence of Covid-19 health hazard.
The petition filed in the high court claimed that the erosion triggered by the port expansion will threaten other inhabited portions of the entire regions such as Sattankuppam, Edamani, Pasaiyavaram, etc in and around the lagoon, and the Pulicat village itself, he emphasised in his plea.
"Due to the proposed fourteen-fold increase in capacity of the port, the shoreline to the north of the port will be majorly impacted where my village Arangankuppam and several other fishing hamlets are located," the petitioner stated.
The bench recording the submissions sought the Pollution board to file a detailed report in four weeks.