The country's leading container port JNPT on Saturday said it is adhering to the terms of reference issued by the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change for prior environmental clearance for development of Vadhavan port.
The government had in February approved a proposal to set up a new major port at Vadhavan near Dahanu in Maharashtra at an investment of Rs 65,544 crore.
The new port will be developed on a landlord model under a special purpose vehicle (SPV) with Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) as the lead partner with equity participation equal to or more than 50 per cent to implement the project.
Of this,Rs 16,140 crores will be implemented by the SPV in constructing basic infrastructure like breakwaters, rail line/yard and road connectivity, power and water line, internal roads and common amenities, as per JNPT.
At present, JNPT and Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB) are development partners for the prospective port with JNPT holding 74 per cent and MMB the remaining 26 per cent in the SPV.
Maharashtra currently has two major ports in the state -- JNPT and Mumbai Port.
"The port is acting in accordance to provide ground reality and take all measures for environmentally sustainable port development with all preventive and mitigative measures for port services which are in wider interest of the nation and in particular to Maharashtra," JNPT said in a release.
JNPT is "committed" to preserve, protect and promote the environment in and around Vadhavan port while implementing as well as operating the project. All environment laws, rules and regulations will be fully regulated with oversight from the pollution control board, it said in the release.
The environment ministry has approved the Terms of Reference for conducting environmental impact assessment study and instructed JNPT to comply with all the conditions under Standard Terms of Reference as a part of environment clearance process which includes public hearing and approval of State Coastal Zone Management Authority (SCZMA), JNPT said.
Beside, it also emphasised for additional Terms of Reference, it added. "In compliance with the TOR, JNPT has assigned works to reputed government agencies for conducting multiple technical studies."
Likewise, the Central Water Power Research Centre is directing the impact of flooding in the creeks and dredging. Similarly, the National Institute of Oceanography, Goa is managing the effect of dredging on the marine ecology, biodiversity impact assessment and by setting up an environmental management plan, said the release.
The studies also include undersea noise on the crustaceans and concentration of carbon in seawater, among others, the JNPT release said, adding IIT Mumbai is assessing the impact of development due to increase in inhabitation and resolution method for congestion free roads and improvement in artery road due to Port.
Furthermore, the Central Marine & Fisheries Research Institute is conducting area of fishing, loss to fishermen, compensation and an assessment on alternative means for fishermen and rehabilitation due to loss of fishing activities if any, the port operator stated.
The traffic for the Vadhavan port is reportedly projected to be around 15 million metric tonnes per annum (MTPA) in 2023 , which is expected to go up to 254 MTPA in 2038.
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