The decision on environmental and costal regulatory zone (CRZ) clearance to Adani Group’s ship recycling facility near Mundra port in Kutch has been deferred with the expert appraisal committee (EAC) of the ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) seeking detailed action plan on hazardous waste disposal, oil spillage, detection of radioactive materials and green belt to name a few. The project is being developed by the Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (APSEZ) Ltd.
Since the EAC has sought detailed reports with regards to number of aspects, the mandatory clearance for the project is likely to be delayed. The company proposes to make the ship recycling facility operational within 12 months of mandatory clearances. But the silver lining for APSEZ is that the EAC has not found any merits in the issues of environment degradation raised by villagers who are likely to be affected by the project.
Also, the proposed location for the ship recycling facility is within the limits of the Mundra Port, which was granted environmental clearance (EC) and CRZ clearance in 2009 for waterfront development from MoEF. Hence, the pending litigation against the APSEZ in Gujarat High Court is not likely to impact the project. Furthermore, the EAC has recommended five year extension of EC and CRZ clearances to APSEZ for waterfront development activities.
The EAC had decided to defer EC and CRZ clearance to the ship recycling facility during its meeting held on January 22-24 last month. While deferring the decision on the project the EAC demanded detailed information on aspects like measures to prevent the spillage of oil and paint waste on land, sand bund, during ship breaking, along with quantity, method of disposal of contaminated soil in case of any accidental spillages.
It further sought details of hazardous wastes disposal system along with details of agreement made with the Treatment Storage & Disposal Facility (TSDF), their permitted and operational capacity, EC under EIA Notification, 2006 and authorisation from pollution control board.
Another aspect the EAC wanted information on was facility for detection of radioactive materials which may accidentally or otherwise be present in the ship.
It also asked for action plan for transportation of waste water, bilge and slop water to the CETP (common effluent treatment plant), cumulative impact of the existing activities and proposed activity and proposed green belt near the facility. On the opposition to the project by local villagers alleging blockage of creek, destruction of vegetation including mangroves, impact on fisheries and water pollution, the minutes of the meeting stated, “The EAC did not find merit in the above stated issues in view of the plans set forth by the APSEZ.”
The EAC also found that the night time noise level in Dhurb village in vicinity of port was higher than the permissible level and asked APSEZ to submit measures to mitigate the issue.
The proposed project involves development of recycling facility adjacent to existing West Port, in Mundra near Vandh village of Mundra block in Kutch district. The project area covers 40.7432 hectares reclaimed land created by dumping dredge spoils.
In includes recycling of approximately 40 ships annually of average Light Displacement Tonnage (LDT) 7582 tonnes. It is estimated that nearly 0.25 million tonne (Mt) per year of scrap metal will be recovered along with 11,000 tonnes per year machinery and 10,000 tonnes per year of miscellaneous items.
According to APSEZ, the project will require 60 cubic meter per day of industrial water and 100 cubic meter per day of potable water. Treated sewage and sea water will be used for dust suppression and horticulture. The potable water will be supplied by Gujarat Water Infrastructure Limited tankers or will be drawn from desalination plant in the West port, while the power will be required only for illumination and in the offices which will be drawn from the grid.