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Guj HC issues notices to Centre, state over PIL

The project has been opposed on the grounds that it would destroy the occupation of about 8,000 fishermen families from 14 surrounding villages.



Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High Court has issued
notices to the Centre and the state government among others in
response to a PIL seeking protection of a marine park and
fishermen of 14 villages in Jamnagar by ceasing construction
work of a jetty.

Adam Aliyas Visher, Vice President of Salaya Machhimar
Boat Association (SMBA), filed the PIL challenging the
construction of a jetty by Essar Bulk Terminal Ltd (EBTL) in
Marine National Park in Salaya, Jamnagar, for handling of bulk
mineral including petroleum, petrochemicals and refined
products.

The project has been opposed on the grounds that it would
destroy the occupation of about 8,000 fishermen families from
14 surrounding villages.

A division bench of Chief Justice S J Mukhopadhaya and
Justice J B Pardiwala asked the respondents to file their
reply by July 19, when the next hearing is scheduled.

The PIL also sought quashing and setting aside of the
Coastal Regulations Zone (CRZ) clearance given by the Union
government to the Essar group company.

The SMBA contended that EBTL had obtained a CRZ clearance
by misleading the Union government with false information
regarding the proposed location of the jetty, saying it was
not within the Marine National Park.

The petition claimed that the jetty was being built
within the MNP and marine sanctuary, which is rich in marine
and biodiversity and was notified as a marine national park
and sanctuary in 1982.

"The clearance for the construction of a jetty over the
MNP and marine sanctuary would result in the disturbance of
the marine life and marine sanctuary and also in the
destruction of mangrove forests and coral reefs," the SMBA
said in its PIL.

The PIL further states that 8,000 families of Salaya and
14 villages will lose their occupation of fishing, resulting
into a loss, which can never be compensated in monetary terms.

"Further, mangroves act as a protector of land from the
sea, high tides, Tsunami and other unfortunate incidents" and
damaging them could result in "untoward incidents", the SMBA
petition added.

The CRZ clearance, dated August 17, 2009, was given in
favour of M/s Vadinar Oil Terminal Limited, the name of which
was later changed to `Essar Bulk Terminal (Salaya) Limited`.

The project broadly consists of two captive jetties for
handling bulk products, pipelines for crude oil, refinery
produces, petrochemicals, seawater intake, cooling water
release, screw unloads, closed pipe conveyors, and others,
which would be established in the Salaya creek.

PTI

From Zee News

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