NGT reserves order on grant of EC to Adani's Vizhinjam Porttext_fields
New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal Monday reserved its judgement on pleas seeking withdrawal of environment clearance granted to the Vizhinjam International Seaport, being developed by Adani Group in Thiruvananthapuram.
The issue was being heard by a five-member bench since February, after the Supreme Court paved the way for resumption of hearing before it. However, in the meantime, one of the expert members retired.
Today, when the matter came up for hearing, Justice Swatanter Kumar, the NGT Chairman, wanted to know from the parties whether they would like the issues to be re-heard by a new bench which can be reconstituted or would they favour the existing four-member bench to pronounce the decision.
After taking instructions, the Ministry of Environment and Forests and other parties, including Adani, agreed that the remaining four members could pronounce the judgment and they had no objection.
"All the counsel appearing for the parties unanimously and without exception stated that the remaining four Members may pronounce the judgment and none of the parties to would raise any objection either with regard to the constitution of the Bench or the number of the Members of the Bench, deciding the matters. The case is again reserved for judgment," the bench said.
The tribunal was hearing pleas by Thiruvananthapuram- based environmental activists, Wilfred J and V Marydasan, seeking the green panel's intervention to direct that coastal areas throughout the country, including the Vizhinjam coast, be "preserved and no activity be undertaken which would damage such areas."
The harbour project got environmental and Coastal Regulation Zone clearance on January 3, 2014. The activists claimed that the project was being established in the area which was once protected under the 1991 notification.