Ministry trains guns on MPSEZL over violations
The Adani Group project has to reply to a show cause notice in 15 days
BY Tuhin Dutta
The Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) has now trained its guns on the Mundra Port and Special Economic Zone Ltd (MPSEZL) in Kutch, Gujarat for violating coastal regulation zone (CRZ) norms as well as for destroying mangrove forests in the region.
The ministry has issued a show cause notice to the project, being developed by Ahmedabad-based Adani Group, directing it to reply within 15 days, as to why the environmental clearance given to them earlier should not be cancelled.
The company had inked an agreement with the Gujarat government for around Rs 15,000 crore to develop the project.
Acting on a complaint lodged by NGO Machimar Adhikar Sangharsh Sangathan, the ministry instructed its additional director in the region, A Senthil Vel to submit a report on the project.
Based the report, the ministry has also asked why the clearance to the township project by the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA), Gujarat should not be cancelled.
The ministry also said that the pipelines constructed on the north and the west sides of the port are obstructing the tidal flow which is destroying the mangrove stretches at the site.
Among other violations, MoEF said that Samudra Township cleared earlier, is permitted under the Coastal Regulations Zone Act and but no clearance under the Coastal Regulation Zone Notification 1991 was issued.
MoEF in its letter said, "Gujarat Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA) shall, within four weeks, have the revised coastal regulation zone area prepared for the site and the layout plan with permissible activities will be superimposed. Those activities which have been undertaken or the structures constructed or under construction in violation of the notification shall be removed."
The MoEF has recently issued similar show cause notices to Jindal Steel & Power Ltd and Lavasa Corporation, a unit of Hindustan Construction Company Ltd for alleged violation of environmental norms.