Fisherfolk Struggle to Protect Ennore Creek from Pollution and Encroachment by Industries

Reported by

Sumana

Legal Data by

Edited by

Updated by

Published on

January 31, 2017

January 31, 2017

Updated on

January 31, 2017

Location of Conflict

Ennore

Thiruvallur

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Thermal Power Plant

(

Eco-Sensitive Zone

)

People Affected by Conflict

Households Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

405

ha

Starting Year

1980

State

Tamil Nadu

Sector

Power

Fisherfolk and residents in and around Ennore in Chennai have been protesting against pollution of the Ennore creek and encroachment of land by various Industries and the government.
The total wetland area in Ennore, as per the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority, is 2,000 acres. Since the 1980s, effluents have been released into the creek, which connects with the Araniyar and Kosathalaiyar rivers as well as the manmade Buckingham canal. These effluents include fly ash from thermal plants and hot water discharge, which affects the fish population in the area.
Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco), Manali Petrochemical Industrial Complex and three other power plants in the area are allegedly the main contributors to the pollution. After years of protest by the fishing community, the Madras High Court in 1996 ordered the thermal power plant to stop dumping fly ash into the creek as well as to clean up waste that was dumped into it earlier. But despite the court order, the plant continues to dump effluents into the creek. This, the residents complain, adversely affects their health.
The environmental impacts of encroachment of the wetlands was felt in 2015 during floods, as excess water could not be drained into the wetlands. Following the floods, activists and local people approached the National Green Tribunal and argued that the Ennore wetlands must be protected as they played a crucial role in flood control.
Encroachment by industries has also displaced the residents of two fishing villages, who have been forced to relocate to a place 2km from the sea. This has impacted their livelihoods. They fear further displacement as talks of opening another power plant in the area have been going on.
In addition to the industrial activity on the wetlands, the expansion of the Kamarajar Port in the area has also commenced, affecting the fisherfolk's access to the sea.
In July 2020, the Water Resources Department commenced operations to dredge Ennore creek backwaters of fly ash. This is to be completed before the monsoon sets in during the month of October.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Opposition against environmental degradation

Demand to retain/protect access to common land/resources

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Region Classification

Urban and Rural

Type of Land

Common

Type of Common Land

Non-Forest (Other than Grazing Land)

Total investment involved (in Crores):

Type of investment:

Year of Estimation

Page Number In Investment Document:

Has the Conflict Ended?

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Legislations/Policies Involved

Coastal Zone Regulation Notification, 2018
Paragraph 4(vi) [Prohibited activities within CRZ - Dumping of city or town wastes including construction debris, industrial solid wastes, fly ash for the purpose of land filling]
Fly Ash Notification, 1999
Paragraph 2(2) [Every coal or lignite based thermal power plant commissioned subject to environmental clearance conditions stipulating the submission of an action plan for full utilisation of fly ash shall, within a period of nine years from the publication of this notification, phase out the dumping and disposal of fly ash on land in accordance with the plan]
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    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  4. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  5. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  6. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  7. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Whether claims/objections were made as per procedure in the relevant statute

What was the claim(s)/objection(s) raised by the community?

What was the Decision of the Concerned Government Department?

Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:

Forced evictions/dispossession of land

Violation of environmental laws

Legal Status:

In Court

Status of Case In Court

Pending

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

National Green Tribunal; Madras High Court

Case Number

Original Application No. 14 of 2017 (SZ); Writ Petition No. 30237 of 2018 and Writ Miscellaneous Petition No. 35289 of 2018

Main Reasoning/Decision of court

Madras High Court, Writ Petition No. 30237 of 2018 and Writ Miscellaneous Petition No. 35289 of 2018, Order dated November 19, 2018: The Court held that one of the plant operators had failed to comply with the fly ash utilisation regulation, which was resulting in environmental degradation. The court ordered an ad-interim injunction restraining the operator from dumping material that would affect the marsh land in Vallur Village. NGT, January 21 2020: The Bench expressed regret at Kamarajar Port Ltd (KPL) and the North Chennai Thermal Power Station (NCTPS) for failing to clear the pollution caused by them in the Ennore Creek. The Bench in particular came down heavily on the NCTPS, observing if State-owned industries themselves don’t comply with norms, it will send a wrong message to other industries. It also ordered Kamarjar port to pay Rs 8.3cr to CPCB, for violating the pollution norms, after the expert panel set up by the NGT submitted evidence. NGT, February 25, 2021: The Bench directed authorities to take the 1996 Coastal Zone Management Plan map with approved modifications in respect of Tiruvallur district while preparing the Coastal Zone Management Plan. This throws light on the possible invalidity of the 2018 CZMP into question, as this map was based on an ‘amended’ 1997 map rather than the approved 1996 map.

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

No items found.

Whether criminal law was used against protestors:

Reported Details of the Violation:

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Nature of Protest

No items found.

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco)

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

Local fisherfolk

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:

Image Credit:  

Image Credit:  

Documented By

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Reviewed By

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Updated By

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Edited By

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