The NGT’s directive came in response to a case filed by a group of fishermen under the organization Hazira Machchimaar Samiti challenging the environment clearance granted by the ministry of environment in 2013, for further development of port activities at Hazira in Surat.
The NGT’s directive came in response to a case filed by a group of fishermen under the organization Hazira Machchimaar Samiti challenging the environment clearance granted by the ministry of environment in 2013, for further development of port activities at Hazira in Surat.

NGT sets aside environmental clearance for Hazira port expansion

NGT also orders Adani Hazira Port along with another group firm to pay a fine of `25 crore towards compensation

Ahmedabad: In a setback to Ahmedabad-headquartered Adani Group, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) set aside environmental clearance for the expansion of Hazira port by Adani Hazira Port Pvt. Ltd (AHPPL) and ordered AHPPL along with another group company to pay a fine of 25 crore towards compensation and restoration of damages caused to the environment.

The NGT’s directive came in response to a case filed by a group of fishermen under the organization Hazira Machchimaar Samiti challenging the environment clearance granted by the ministry of environment and forest in 2013, for further development of port activities at Hazira in Surat.

At a press conference in Ahmedabad on Saturday, the fishermen alleged that about 80 families were affected due to the expansion activities at Hazira port. While NGT passed the order on 8 January, it was only on 15 January that they got a copy of the order, said M.S.H. Sheikh, a Surat-based environmentalist who is supporting the fishermen in their legal dispute.

“The fact remains that undaunted by absence of EC and CRZ clearance, the AHPPL proceeded with expansion work after 2007 and did not care for any adverse order or impact on environment. Such irresponsible attitude must be deprecated," justice VR Kingaonkar observed in his order.

The tribunal also instructed the Surat district collector, to demolish the construction over 25 hectare and restore the land in case of non-compliance.

An official of Adani group declined to comment on the matter.

The fishermen alleged that AHPPL had developed two additional container jetties and three multipurpose jetties in the non-LNG port area, even before receiving the environmental and coastal zone regulation clearance. The fishermen also alleged that while the project led to large scale destruction of mangroves, the Environmental Impact Assessment submitted by the company overlooked the presence of two vulture species and their feeding site and did not consider their conservation and restoration.

Adani group has been caught in cases of alleged environmental non-compliance in the past. International NGO Greenpeace has posed a challenge to the group’s ambitious plan to develop the world’s biggest coal mining project in Australia’s Queensland province, claiming that it would cause irreversible ecological damage to the region.

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