Essar damaging marine national park in Gujarat

Reported by

Aditi PatilLand Conflict Watch

Last updated on

January 6, 2020

Location of Conflict



Reason or Cause of Conflict

Thermal Power Plant



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In 2016, National Green Tribunal had admitted a case against Essar Group's upcoming port project in Salaya, Jamnagar district, Gujarat, on the grounds that it is affecting the ecology of Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park as well as mangroves and coral reefs in the vicinity, besides endangering the livelihoods of over one lakh fishermen. The case was filed by the Salaya Fishermen's Association and 10 individual fishermen working near the proposed port at Salaya village and was admitted by the NGT's Western Zone bench in Pune on 21 September 2016. The fishermen claim that the port was granted environment and coastal zone clearance in 2009 based on wrong information about its proximity to the marine national park. The petition says that the environment impact assessment, on which the clearance was given, does not mention mangroves or coral reefs. The fishermen also allege that the public hearing, which happened in February 2008, was an eyewash" since it happened in a school 32 km away and no notice was circulated in their village. The environment clearance was first challenged before the Gujarat High Court. In September 2011, a bench of the HC consisting of the then Chief Justice SJ Mukhopadhya had barred Essar from cutting mangroves or destroying flora and fauna and indulging in any activity around the park. In 2015, the HC had transferred the case to the NGT's Western Zone bench in Pune. Essar had moved the Supreme Court against this transfer, which the apex court subsequently stayed. In their petition before the NGT, the fishermen claim that Essar has used the stay as the ground for restarting construction activities, even though the SC had not stayed the Gujarat High Court's earlier stay order on construction at the port. The petition claims that the jetties, once constructed, would occupy most of the sea face and affect the livelihoods of over one lakh persons dependent on fishing activities. In 2017, the NGT then appointed a threemember Court Commission to ascertain exact area being used by Essar Bulk Terminal Limited to construct two jetties.

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Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change

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Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Essar Bulk Terminal

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Other Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Salaya Fishermen's Association

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Documented By

Aditi Patil

Reviewed By

Aditi Patil

Updated By

Aditi Patil

Edited By

Aditi PatilLand Conflict Watch

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