Proposed Expansion of Kattupalli Port in Tamil Nadu Threatens Livelihood of Fisherfolk

Reported by

Faizi AhmadLand Conflict Watch

Last updated on

June 9, 2021

Location of Conflict




Reason or Cause of Conflict


Port expansion


Eco-Sensitive Zone


People Affected by Conflict


Land Area Affected (in Hectares)



Starting Year



Tamil Nadu



Adani Group has invested INR 53,031 crore in the Kattupalli Port on the outskirts of Chennai to expand its existing capacity. The fisherfolk in the area have opposed the move citing a threat to their livelihood and have demanded scrapping of the project. The Kattupalli Port was initially built and owned by Larsen and Toubro. Adani Ports acquired it in June 2018 and renamed it Adani Katupalli Port Private Limited. The port has been spilling oil into the sea since it started operations in January 2012. Now, expansion operations will require further reclamation of the sea, resulting in more oil spill. This will force the fisherfolk to go for deepsea fishing, which many of them cannot afford. The project will also displace around 33,000 people, and, if the ecosystem is affected, it might pose a threat to Chennai's groundwater as well, Xavier Benedict told Land Conflict Watch. Benedict works with the AARDE Foundation, which works for the promotion and conservation of wetlands. According to a news report, thousands of families depend on fishing in the sea and backwaters in the proposed expansion area. They fear that their relocation will affect their livelihood as they would have to spend more time to commute to the seashore.  People and activists have also opposed the port expansion on environmental grounds. The proposed expansion work requires reclamation of 2,000 acres of land inside the sea and its adjoining areas, including EnnorePulicat backwaters, which Adani plans to do by dumping dredged sand from the Palar river. The backwaters and wetlands play a pivotal role in protecting their surrounding area from floods. The filling up of these natural bodies will expose most parts of North Chennai and its neighbouring areas to floods. The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change granted the Terms of Reference for the expansion of the port in July 2019 after a threemember team appointed by the ministrys Environment Assessment Committee submitted its report to the Expert Appraisal Committee in June. Adani Group is likely to proceed with the expansion.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Complaint against procedural violations, Opposition against environmental degradation

Scrapping of the project

Region Classification


Type of Land


Type of Common Land

Non-Forest (Other than Grazing Land)

Total investment involved (in Crores):


Type of investment:

Investment Made

Year of Estimation

Has the Conflict Ended?


When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Environmental Laws

Legislations/Policies Involved

  1. Coastal Zone Regulation Notification, 2018

    Paragraph 4(vii) [Prohibited activities within CRZ - Port and harbour projects in high eroding stretches of the coast]; Paragraph 6 read with Annexure IV [Guidelines for preparation of Coastal Zone Management Plan]

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:

Out of Court

Status of Case In Court

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

Case Number

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

Whether criminal law was used against protestors

Official name of the criminal law. Did the case reach trial?

Reported Details of the Violation:

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Nature of Protest


Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?


Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Adani Ports and SEZ Ltd

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?


Name, Designation and Comment of Corporate Authorities Approached

Other Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:
No Images Available

Documented By

Faizi Ahmad

Reviewed By

Faizi Ahmad

Updated By

Faizi Ahmad

Edited By

Faizi AhmadLand Conflict Watch

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