As Govt Plans Eco-Friendly Ports, Greens Cry Foul At JNPA

Lush green mangrove zone, now a desert

As Govt Plans Eco-Friendly Ports, Greens Cry Foul At JNPA

‘Violations series at No 1 Landlord Port’

Ports mater plan must involve project displaced people, says NatConnect Foundation.

NEW DELHI, July 22 (The CONNECT) – The Centre has drawn up plan to make the country’s ports eco-friendly while asking the Indian Ports Association to prepare a comprehensive master plan for ports with planning horizon of 2047, the Lok Sabha was told.

The Government is committed to reduce the emissions from shipping sector and promote the development of net zero and low-emission solutions, said Union Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal.

By 2030, all the Major Ports are to be made fully self-sustainable on electricity. All the energy requirements of the port are to be met through renewable sources. Initiative also includes Green Warehousing utilizing green/ natural solutions such as natural light or energy efficiency lighting, automated and compact storage systems, roof top solar, using HVLS fans and rainwater harvesting.

Reacting to the plans, environmentalists have drawn the Minister’s attention to a series of violations by the country’s largest Landlord Port JNPA and requested action.

JNPA does not have CRZ clearances yet, the port has buried large stretches of mangroves and wetlands for its SEZ project, NatConnect Foundation director B N Kumar told the minister.

JNPA has rendered the Savarkhar wetland dry though the place has been listed as a wetland by the local Tahsildar.

All these acts have resulted in blocking the free flow of tidal water and leading to floods in Uran villages across Mumbai harbour for the first time in 15 to 20 years, said Nandakumar Pawar, head of Shri Ekvira Aai Pratishtan, said,

These villages did not have any semblance of floods even during the worst deluge and floods of Mumbai in 2005. The village panchayats have been complaining to the local authorities about the flooding, Pawar said

While expanding the port operations, JNPA has been destroying mudflats and blocking fishing channels thus impacting the lives and livelihoods of the fishing community, Dilip Koli of Paramparik Machhimar Bachao Kruti said. “We have requested for an independent assessment of the ground and water situation by involving local complainants,” he said.

The issue of compensating and settling the people displaced from Sheva village 36 years ago is yet to be resolved and over 600 families are still subjected to a transit camp at Hanuman Koliwada. “We are raising this issue because comprehensive planning for ports must include resettlement of displaced people,” Kumar said.

In a response to a question, the Minister informed the Lok Sabha that the Sagarmala programme is the flagship programme of the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways to promote port-led development in the country through harnessing India’s 7,500 km long coastline, 14,500 km of potentially navigable waterways and strategic location on key international maritime trade routes. As a part of Sagarmala Programme, more than 800 projects at an estimated cost of around Rs. 5.5 lakh crore have been identified for implementation during 2015 to 2035 across all coastal states an Eastern and Western side of the country. Sagarmala projects includes projects from various categories such as modernisation of existing ports and terminals, new ports, terminals, RoRo & tourism jetties, enhancement of port connectivity, inland waterways, lighthouse tourism, industrialization around port, skill development, technology centres, etc. Further, under holistic development of coastal districts, a total of 567 projects with an estimated cost of around Rs. 58,000 crore have been identified.

To develop global standard ports in India, Maritime India Vision (MIV) 2030 has identified initiatives such as developing world-class Mega Ports, transhipment hubs and infrastructure modernization of ports. MIV 2030 estimates the investments to the tune of Rs. 1,00,000–1,25,000 Crores for capacity augmentation and development of world-class infrastructure at Indian Ports.

Ministry has issued directions for Preparation of Comprehensive Master Plan for ports with planning horizon of 2047 on 25/4/2022. Indian Ports Association, an apex body of Major Ports, has been directed to integrate all Port's Master Plan with respect to vision 2047 and prepare a comprehensive Plan & report for Major Ports

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