The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has appointed a three-member Court Commission to ascertain exact area being used by Essar Bulk Terminal (Salaya) Limited in Jamnagar district to construct two jetties for which it has got Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) and environmental clearances from the Union Ministry of Environment Forest & Climate Change (MoEF&CC).
The three members appointed in the Court Commission are the director of MoEF&CC, a senior scientist of National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) and the director of Marine National Park and Sanctuary, Jamnagar. The panel has been directed by the tribunal to visit the impugned region and submit its report by July 26.
The West Zone bench of the tribunal comprising Justice U D Salvi and Ajay Deshpande passed an order in this regard last month, while acting on a petition moved by Salaya Fishermen’s Association. Details of the order were made public by Krishnakant of environmental organisation, Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti, on Wednesday.
The petitioner group has demanded reassessment of the claims made by Essar Bulk Terminal (Salaya) Limited while applying for environmental clearances, alleging that the respondent company did not present proper facts and that it has caused a lot of damage to the environment and ecology of the region.
The petitioner group has also alleged that Essar Bulk Terminal (Salaya) has encroached upon protected eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) of Salaya Marine National Park and Sanctuary, resulting in destruction of mangroves, obstruction to inter-tidal water in Salaya Creek which is harmful to environment and biodiversity.
The petitioners have also alleged that the alleged work was posing a great threat to their livelihood as well. The Essar Bulk Terminal (Salaya) Ltd. has reportedly replied that there is no illegal construction made by them. The NGT bench has asked the Gujarat government to make logistics arrangements for the visit of the Court Commission to the site in Jamnagar. Further hearing on the petition is slated for July 26.