Vizhinjam port gets extension on environmental clearance validity
Vizhinjam international deepwater multipurpose seaport in Kerala has received an extended validity of the Environmental and Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearance for an added three years by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFC).
With the extension of validity of the Environmental Clearance (EC) till January 2, 2024, Adani Vizhinjam Port Private Ltd (AVPPL), the multi-port operator, will have time till December 2023 to complete the project’s Phase I, which missed the deadline of December 3, 2019.
MoEFC, in January 2014, had granted clearance to the project as per the Environment Impact Assessment notification 2006 and the CRZ notification 2011 and its subsequent amendments, subject to compliance with the terms and conditions.
The EC is given in phases of five, two, and three. An automatic two-year EC was received in 2019. Vizhinjam International Seaport Ltd (VISL), the government entity overseeing the project, had to undergo the process to get EC for the next three years.
VISL had to make presentations before an expert appraisal committee of the Ministry for Infrastructure Development, Coastal Regulation Zone, and Other Miscellaneous Projects for extending the validity.
The state had demanded an extension of EC on four counts—it was pointed out that the initial two years were lost for the global bid process to select the concessionaire after the issuance of the EC, delay in sourcing rock by the AVPPL, the concessionaire, for the construction of the 3.1 km breakwater, work of dredging and reclamation, berth and container yard of the seaport can be completed only with the advancement of the breakwater, and the outbreak of Covid-19 and its impact.