TANGEDCO violates norms, lays roads on eco-sensitive spots

According to the Tamil Nadu State Coastal Zone Management Plan, the site of construction falls in CRZ – IV, which is a water body.

Tangedco took up road laying works across  Kosasthaliyar river, violating CRZ norms (Photo: DC)

 Tangedco took up road laying works across Kosasthaliyar river, violating CRZ norms (Photo: DC)

Chennai: Residents of Ennore are up in arms as the contractors employed by Tangedco have been dumping construction debris in the Kosasthaliyar river and the Buckingham canal to lay the access road.

The road to facilitate closed conveyor belt from port to Ennore Thermal Power Station (Annexe) affects the natural course of the water bodies and defies various environmental laws, rue environmental activists.

Though the works have been tentatively stopped following the agitation by locals, environmentalists have objected to the construction as it also takes a toll on the mangrove habitat here.

Deccan Chronicle is in possession of the documents that clearly indicate Tangedco has violated Coastal Zone regulation clearance, 2011, the water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 and Environmental protection act, 1990.

The CRZ clearance obtained by Tangedco for setting up its additional unit clearly specifies that the pipeline system and the discharge system should not affect fishing and movement of fishermen.

According to the Tamil Nadu State Coastal Zone Management Plan, the site of construction falls in CRZ – IV, which is a water body. Laying a road at this hydrologically important path – where Kosasthaliyar river enters Ennore creek to exit into the Bay of Bengal – blocks the river and increases flood vulnerability, said Pooja Kumar of Coastal Resource Centre.

Echoing the same, R.L. Srinivasan, President of Fishermen co-operative society said, “Three roads are being laid in a kilometer radius, which is popular for mangrove plantations,” he said.

K. Saravanan, another fishermen said the blockage on the river violates Section 3(iv) the CRZ Notification 2011. The clearance also mandated the pipelines that carry coolant water needed to be buried underground. This has been violated as pipelines are laid on the surface.

“Their environmental assessment and the alignment of coal conveyor corridor are not made public. Tangedco had obtained ‘consent to establish’ for power generation from Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board. But there is no consent for conveyor corridor,” added Pooja Kumar.

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Sea of health woes

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Stop Kamarajar Port Expansion; Save Kosasthalaiyar-Ennore Creek

Save Chennai from a Watery Grave
Attend the TNPCB-run public hearing on expansion of Kamarajar Port Ltd
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Add your voice to the voices of the fisherfolk from Mugatwarakuppam, Kaattukuppam, Sivanpadaiveethikuppam, Thazhankuppam, Ennore Kuppam and Nettukuppam.

Bring your objections in writing addressed to:

District Environmental Engineer
Tamilnadu Pollution Control Board,
77-A, South Avenue Road, Ambattur  Industrial Estate,
Ambattur Taluk,  Chennai – 600 058. Thiruvallur District

WHEN: 11 a.m. 5 August, 2016

WHERE: Inside the premises of M/s Kamarajar Port Ltd, Puzhuthivakkam Village, Vallur Post, Chennai 600120. Ponneri Taluk, Thiruvallur District

PROJECT: Development of the facilities envisaged in the Port Master plan (Phase III) of Kamarajar Port by M/s. Kamarajar Port Ltd.

Click here to view The Environmental Impact Assessment

BACKGROUND:

Hidden from public view, Kamarajar Port has been filling up waterbodies in the Ennore wetlands complex to create land for its allied facilities. Already, much damage has been done to the Ennore Creek which drains both the River Kosasthalaiyar and the River Araniyar into the Bay of Bengal through the estuary at Mugathwarakuppam.

December 2015 was a reminder of the deadly consequences of encroaching on wetlands. The constriction of the waterways, the filling up of the Buckingham Canal and the destruction of mangroves by KPL, and the thermal power plants has already taken a toll as Athipattu Pudunagar, Manali New Town, Ernavur and Kathivakkam faced unprecedented flooding last year.

KPL’s expansion will spell the death of the Kosasthalaiyar. There is still time to avert a disaster. Attend the public hearing; spread the word; raise objections. Stop further encroachments into waterbodies.

For more information, contact: thecoastalresourcecentre@gmail.com

Federalism or Make in India? How Modi govt is bypassing Jayalalithaa over Kamarajar port

KPL and thermal power plants in the area have already disturbed the hydrology of Ennore creek area

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One wonders if Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa knows how easy it is for businesses to render her redundant when it suits them. Federalism, it appears, is the latest victim of the Union Government’s efforts to enhance the “ease of doing business.”

In a parting decision that undermines the Government of Tamil Nadu’s jurisdiction, former environment minister Prakash Javadekar has conveyed to corporations that law will not be allowed to stand in the way of commercial expediency. The case in point involves Kamarajar Port Ltd (KPL) – a 100 percent Government of India-owned mini-Navratna that is set to expand by eating into the ecologically sensitive Ennore Creek.

On June 2, 2016, KPL put out an advertisement announcing a public hearing – a statutory requirement under environmental law — for the third phase expansion of its port in North Chennai. The public hearing is scheduled to be held on August 2, 2016, inside the port premises. KPL, which is one of three ports within a 20 km stretch of Chennai coast, is already unpopular among the local fishing communities who accuse it of encroaching on wetlands and disturbing the ecology and hydrology of the Ennore creek. Continue reading

Kamarajar Port not toeing the line, claim activists

kamarajar

CHENNAI: After a brief stoppage, Kamarajar Port Limited has allegedly resumed the dumping of dredge spoils in the Buckingham canal and inter-tidal area in violation of several standing orders, environmentalists claimed on Sunday.

In the last couple of days, the port has reportedly uprooted several fully-grown coconut and palm trees along the canal for the purpose. The photographs show earth movers in operation levelling the inter-tidal zone area close to the main and west gate.

Earlier, following similar allegations and destruction of mangroves cover violating Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) rules, the port was asked to stop its dumping activities by Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) as per the direction of Tamil Nadu State Coastal Zone Management Authority (TNSCZMA). Continue reading