Environment Ministry orders relocation of desalination plant project
Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III- Environment
- The Ministry of Environment and Forests’ Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) has directed the Tamil Nadu Water and Drainage Board (TWAD) to shift its project site.
- The project site was for setting up a 60 MLD Sea and Brackish Water Reverse Osmosis (SWRO) plant near the Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park.
According to The EAC,
- The project site is within the eco-sensitive zone of the Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park.
- The release of brine will certainly impact the fish catch affecting the fishermen.
- Reefs, seaweeds, seagrass and the overall ecosystem of the area will also be affected.
- No detailed marine environmental impact assessment had been carried out for the project.
Important value additions:
The Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park
- It is a protected area of India.
- It consists of 21 small islands and adjacent coral reefs in the Gulf of Mannar in the Indian Ocean.
- It is the core area of the Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve.
- Public access inside the Park is limited to glass bottom boat rides.
Expert appraisal committee
- It exists at the Union as well as state levels (state expert appraisal committee or SEAC)
- It is formed to advise the government on environmental clearance of development projects.
- They are involved at all the stages, except for public hearing.
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
- It is a process of evaluating the likely environmental impacts of a proposed project or development.
- Both EPA and EIA are provided under Environment Protection Act 1980.