CHENNAI: Following allegations of destruction of mangrove cover and violating Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) rules, the Kamarajar Port, Ennore, has been asked to stop its activities on the disputed sites by the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control (TNPCB) as per the direction of the Tamil Nadu State Coastal Zone Management Authority (TNSCZMA).
The decision was taken at the 88th meeting of TNSCZMA held on February 26, where the report of an expert committee formed to check the violations of CRZ clearance by the port was discussed.
In the report, the committee noted that out of the three areas identified for dumping, two locations belong to the category of CRZ 1-B, and was of the unanimous view that the port had violated the CRZ clearances accorded to it for construction of two coal berths in the port basin.
While recommending the proposal to construct coal berths to the Union Environment Ministry, the State Environment Department had clearly stated in its letter, dated December 16, 2014, that the dredged material should be dumped on the landward side and should not be dumped into the sea (CRZ IV), inter-tidal area (CRZ 1B) of the Buckingham canal or in the salt pan areas that have been declared as CRZ 1B as per the approved CRM plan of Tamil Nadu. However, the committee found during inspection that the dumping was done on inter-tidal mud flats, which receive brackishwater from the Ennore creek. Also, there was sparse mangrove formation.
In response, P Radhakrishnan, general manager, Kamarajar Port, in a letter dated March 3, has acknowledged the decision taken by the coastal management authority and informed the TNPCB that the whole work on the disputed site in the inter-tidal zone has been stopped and no work will be taken up without the consent from the authority.