Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Saturday, Mar 26, 2005

About Us
Contact Us
Tamil Nadu
News: Front Page | National | Tamil Nadu | Andhra Pradesh | Karnataka | Kerala | New Delhi | Other States | International | Opinion | Business | Sport | Miscellaneous | Engagements |
Advts:
Classifieds | Employment |

Tamil Nadu Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Port Trust has studied environmental issues: NEERI

By T. Ramakrishnan

CHENNAI, MARCH 25. The National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) has defended the Sethusamudram Project, even while commending the promoter, Tuticorin Port Trust, for going beyond the scope of its own study from an environmental angle.

"We studied the project for three years and examined it critically. We made numerous recommendations to safeguard environmental concerns (considering that the project area is close to a biosphere reserve)," the NEERI Director, Sukumar Devotta, told The Hindu here yesterday.

Pointing out that the NEERI had studied certain aspects from the environmental angle, Dr. Devotta said the areas uncovered by his organisation were studied by others. Sediment transport was one such issue. "The Port Trust has done a comprehensive study on the environmental issues concerning the project." The Union Shipping Ministry accepted the NEERI's report.

Even as it was engaged in the study, the NEERI consulted the National Institute of Ocean Technology, the Central Water and Power Research Station, Pune, and a ship-building unit at Visakhapatnam.

`No harm to coral reefs'

Asserting that the project in its present form would not harm coral reefs, the Director said it was only to protect them in the Gulf of Mannar region that the original alignment was changed and a longer route chosen. "Moreover, contrary to the perception in certain quarters, there would be no dredging of the entire length of the alignment. Only a portion of the alignment, say for about 20 km, would be dredged.''

As for the NEERI stipulations, Dr. Devotta said his organisation had fixed "very high safety norms." It identified some spots for disposal of dredged materials to prevent turbidity. It also drew up guidelines on environmental safeguards to be maintained after the execution of the project.

Port Trust authorities conveyed to the NEERI that a committee would oversee whether its recommendations were carried out. The estimated cost of the project went up substantially because the authorities had included all suggested environmental safeguards. "Roughly, the cost has increased by 30-40 per cent," Dr. Devotta said.

The institute would extend the scope of its study on the role of transport and fuel mix in air quality.

"At present, we are studying only New Delhi. Shortly, we will cover Mumbai and Chennai too." The study had been commissioned by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests and was supported by the oil industry.

Printer friendly page  
Send this article to Friends by E-Mail

Tamil Nadu

News: Front Page | National | Tamil Nadu | Andhra Pradesh | Karnataka | Kerala | New Delhi | Other States | International | Opinion | Business | Sport | Miscellaneous | Engagements |
Advts:
Classifieds | Employment | Updates: Breaking News |


News Update


The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | The Hindu Images | Home |

Copyright 2005, The Hindu. Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu