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TIN news:   The National Green Tribunal (NGT) refused to quash environmental clearances granted to Vizhinjam International Sea Port in Kovalam, Kerala.
The principal bench of the tribunal, by refusing to quash the environmental clearances, has essentially cleared the Rs.6,000 crore port project being developed by Adani Ports and Special Economic Zones Ltd (APSEZ), India’s biggest private port operator.
A five-judge member bench of the tribunal, headed by chairperson justice Swatanter Kumar, heard pleas by two environment activists from Kerala Wilfred J. and V. Maryadasan, who alleged that the port construction is taking place in an ecologically sensitive coastal region.
During the course of the hearing, an expert member of the tribunal retired and the ruling was passed by four members after both parties agreed to it.
The ruling will be subject to the apex court’s scrutiny as a similar plea seeking cancellation of environmental clearances was filed. The Supreme court had stayed the proceedings as NGT was hearing the dispute and had asked the tribunal to rule in a time-bound manner.
Once it is operational, Vizhinjam port would be India’s first deep sea port. Adani obtained environmental and Coastal Regulation Zone clearance in January 2014 for constructing the deep sea port.
A copy of the tribunal’s order has not yet been made available.

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