June 24, 2016 1:35:04 am
Adani Port and Special Economic Zone (APSEZ) needs to replant mangroves on at least 200 hectare in Mundra and Dhrab forests in Kutch where the Adani Group has caused “extensive environmental abuse”, a two-member committee appointed by Gujarat High Court has recommended.
The committee, comprising Goa-based environmentalist Claude Alvares and ecologist Subrata Maity, has also recommended that the company be directed “to remove all embankments, bunds or obstructions to creeks in the entire belt of 5,333.73 ha of mangrove forest (Mundra)… and 250 ha of forest land at Dhrab”.
This is the third such committee in the past six years that has established large-scale environmental damage in the region, known for its mangrove forests.
The division bench of the high court had ordered the setting up of the committee on a petition moved by an NGO, Kheti Vikas Seva Trust.
The panel’s report mentions that the extent of damage suffered by mangrove at Mundra port in the recent past is based on scientific evidence, including surveys carried out by Space Application Centre, Ahmedabad.
“In the opinion of this committee, much more than 100 ha of mangroves and mangrove habitat including mudflats, all categorised under CRZ I (i) under the notification, have been eliminated by the port/SEZ related activity. Some of these changes in land use could in fact be irreversible,” the report said.
The report was submitted before a division bench of Gujarat High Court recently.
On June 14, after the report was submitted to high court, Adani counsel Mihir Thakore sought a copy and asked for time to respond to it.
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