Environment Ministry orders relocation of desalination plant project

  • IASbaba
  • March 25, 2020
  • 0
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Environment Ministry orders relocation of desalination plant project

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III- Environment  

In News: 

  • 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.

Image source: https://tvaraj.com/tag/gulf-of-mannar-marine-national-park/

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.

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