The ministry of environment and forests has ordered a moratorium on expansion of existing ports and new port projects subject to a study undertaken to examine the cumulative impacts of port projects on the coastline.
The environment ministry today issued a ministerial order making environment impact assessment mandatory for all port development projects.
Accordingly, expansion of existing ports and harbours, jetties etc, will be allowed only if hydro-dynamic studies indicate that the expansion activities of the existing port do not have significant impact to the shoreline abutting the project and will have no significant impact on the ecologically sensitive areas along the stretch.
New projects to be located in the identified sites will be subjected to comprehensive environment impact assessment (EIA), based on a minimum of three seasons data, and EIA report prepared on the basis of actual field measurements, appropriate modeling studies etc.
With regard to the hotspots stretches, viz, those areas which are prone for high erosion above one meter per year (identified by the concerned central/state government agencies), locations identified within 10 km on either side of the eco-sensitive areas categorised as CRZ-I(i) and water bodies with high bio-diversity will not be considered for locating ports and harbours.
However, fishing jetties/embarkation facilities for local communities could be set-up with EIA as per environment impact assessment notification, 2006.