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Surathkal highway widening, ’Green norms’ violated in SEZ, : CAG

Surathkal highway widening, ’Green norms’ violated in SEZ, : CAG

Mangalore Today News Network

Mangaluru, Mar 11, 2017: Reports say that Phase 1 of Mangalore Special Economic Zone and widening of a highway near Surathkal, is one also named by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) among the violators of environmental norms, which the project developers were supposed to adhere to.

Surathkal high


These projects were accorded green approval with conditions that the project proponents were to follow to improve the ecological condition of the surrounding areas. However, a reality check by the CAG came up with a completely different picture, exposing the flaws in India’s environmental regulatory system.

For instance, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) was given approval for a project to widen the Kundapura-Surathkal highway with a stipulation that 14,956 trees would be cut. But 18,400 trees were felled as NHAI implemented the project without any approval for cutting down more than 3,400 additional trees.

The environment management plan of the first phase of the Mangalore Special Economic Zone project had a capital component of Rs 600 crore and an annual Rs 100 crore revenue expenditure. The money was to be spent on pollution control monitoring system, green belt and social welfare.

However, the project proponent incurred a capital expenditure of Rs 186.71 crore and no revenue expenditure on the EMP, leading to a shortfall of 72% on the money needed for improving the environment, the CAG said in its report tabled in the Parliament on Friday.

The private sector is no better. The environment clearance given to mining projects lists out the conditions on how the over burden dumps are to be managed in an ecologically sustainable manner. But two projects to enhance the iron ore production of M/s V S Lad and Son Iron Ore mine in Ballari and M/s Ashwathnarayana Singh were found gross violators.

In the first project, the mining dumps were not protected against erosion and thick plantation of native trees were not carried out. The violations actually led to the cancellation of the mining lease. In the second project, the dumps were not properly stabilised.

These are among the 352 projects that the CAG examined to check if the project developers follows that environmental clearance conditions while executing their projects.

Other violators from Karnataka are a 1.12 kilo litre per day capacity molasses-based distillery unit of Nirani Sugars Ltd at Bagalkot and Sri Rameshwara Lift Irrigation Scheme of Karnataka Neeravari Nigam Limited in Belagavi.

The distillery unit was found deficient for not installing effluent treatment plants, non-construction of the rain water harvesting system and shortfall in emergency preparedness plan. The lift irrigation scheme on the other hand did not implement the catchment area treatment plan to check soil erosion.

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Comments on this Article
Prashanth, Surathkal Sat, March-11-2017, 10:41
Fed up listening baseless critics, tree cutting is necessary for development,every one speaking against that,its quite natural also. but worst part of it no one is ready to plant tree. no one is coming up plan with improving greenary. the public, the individual or the government. every is shouting what not to do and what is wrong. but no one tells the solution for that. and ready to implement it.
Basheer Kunhi, suratkal Sat, March-11-2017, 12:14
Traveling in this road stretch is horrible these days as the are cut the atmospheric pressure is high and humidity which exhausts the public who use this path . but no option keep going
Uttam M, puttur Fri, March-10-2017, 11:09
Due to widening of roads movement of vehicles have been very useful but as the trees are cut down in large numbers the heat of sun feels as though it directly penetrates on us
Sumathi Rai, udupi Fri, March-10-2017, 10:38
The Suratkal rod come under the Vajpayee plan four way road with the widening of roads pos many trees are cut down . We ourself have destroyed the ecological balance
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