Environment Ministry Grants In-principle Approval to Wadhwan Port in Maharashtra despite Protests

Reported by

Stella James

Legal Data by

Edited by

Updated by

Published on

July 13, 2017

July 13, 2017

Updated on

July 13, 2017

Location of Conflict

Wadhwan

Varor, Gungwada, Wadapokhran

Palghar

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Port

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

25000

Households Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

2000

ha

Starting Year

2015

State

Maharashtra

Sector

Infrastructure

In 2015, Maharashtra's Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), which handles more than half of India's shipping cargo, proposed to build a port near Wadhwan in Dahanu, to be jointly administered by JNPT (74 per cent stake) and the Maharashtra Maritime Board (26 per cent stake). The location at Wadhwan was chosen because of its connectivity to the western line network that will facilitate the DelhiMumbai Freight Corridor project. Earlier in 1998, the port was to be developed by Peninsular and Oriental Australia Ports Private Limited but did not take off due to protests over environmental concerns and displacement of the local fishing community. However, for this project, it was decided to reclaim land from the sea rather than private land to prevent conflict over acquisition. But this time too, soon after the proposal, the project was shelved due to pressure from the local people and various environmental groups. In December 2015, around 25,000 fisherfolk staged a massive protest at the Palghar collectors office. The protesters said that the project would cause huge damage to the marine environment and also affect the daily livelihood of the local fisherfolk as fishing would be prohibited in the region. The project was stalled since Dahanu was still an ecosensitive zone (ESZ), and no construction could happen unless it was denotified. In 2016, the Maharashtra government asked the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) to exclude the proposed port from the ESZ category. The region was notified ESZ in 1991 by the environment ministry after a Supreme Court order. In September 2019, the MoEFCC filed a petition in the Supreme Court demanding the ESZ status of Dahanu to be scrapped. In October 2019, the residents of Wadhwan and Varor villages completely boycotted the Assembly polls to protest against the port. In February 2020, the MoEFCC granted "inprinciple" approval to the construction of the port and in July 2020, JNPT applied to an Expert Appraisal Committee of the MoEFCC for environmental and coastal regulation zone clearance.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand to retain/protect access to common land/resources

Opposition against environmental degradation

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Common

Type of Common Land

Non-Forest (Other than Grazing Land)

Total investment involved (in Crores):

30000

Type of investment:

Cost of Project

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

Environmental Laws

Legislations/Policies Involved

Environmental Impact Assessment Notification, 2006
Sections 2 [New port projects require prior environmental clearance from the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change]; Section 5 [An Expert Appraisal Committee shall have the power to screen, scope and appraise projects which require clearance]; Section 6 [An application seeking prior environmental clearance shall be made before commencing any construction activity or preparation of land]; 7(III) [A public consultation shall be conducted through which the concerns of the local affected persons who have a stake in the environmental impacts of the project are ascertained]; Section 8 [Based on its observations, the Expert Appraisal Committee may recommend that the clearance be granted/rejected by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change]
Coastal Regulation Zone Notification, 2011
Regulation 4 [The construction and operation of ports and harbours in Coastal Regulation Zones shall be regulated]; Regulation 4.2 [All projects that are regulated under this notification shall obtain prior CRZ clearance from the concerned State Coastal Zone Management Authority]; Regulation 8 [No new construction shall be permitted in CRZ-I zones (which include ecologically sensitive areas)]
Electricity Act, 2003
Section 3 [The Union government shall have the power to take all measures it deems necessary for protecting and improving the quality of the environment]
Environment Protection Rules, 1986
Section 5(1) [While restricting the location of operations in different areas, the Union government may take into consideration factors such as the biological diversity of the area, net adverse environmental impact, proximity to human settlements, etc.]
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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.

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:

No items found.

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)

Supreme Court of India

Case Number

WP(C) 231/1994, MA 1169/2019 in W.P.(C) No. 231/1994

Main Reasoning/Decision of court

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

Complaints/petitions/letters/memorandums to officials

Development of a network or collective

Public campaign

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Maharashtra Maritime Board

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust

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:

Dahanu Taluka Environment Protection Authority, Bhumi Sena, Sarvodaya Fish Cooperative Society, Maharashtra Machhimar Kruti Samiti

Resources Related to Conflict

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

Image Credit:  

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Reviewed By

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Updated By

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