In a bid to overcome the resistance from the environment lobby the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Authority (JNPA) is understood to have sought permission from the Union environment ministry to dredge up 200 million cubic meters of earth from the ocean floor off the coast of Daman to reclaim land for the proposed Vadhavan Port off Palghar’s coast according to media reports.

The port is being built since the five container terminals in JNPT have reached saturation point and the ministry is keen on further development of west coast by building this world class port at Vadavan. The port project will come up close to JNPT and the ministry is finding ways and means to overcome the environment lobby which had prevented earlier attempts to build the port in that ecologically sensitive area.

Under the proposal mooted by the JNPT, the excavated material will be transported by ship 50 km away to Vadhavan, where it will be used in reclaiming at least 1,473 hectares (3,600 acres) of land from the sea.

Initially, the JNPA’s plan was to quarry about soil from fragmented rocks from from hillocks in Palghar district. Fearing backlash once against from the environmentalist, the authority is said have written letter to the Ministgry of environemnt seeking an amendment in the project’s Terms of Reference (ToR), which are granted prior to seeking environmental clearance.

Considering the substantial amount of reclamation requirement, it was decided to extract the fill material through marine borrow pit as against the earth filling in view of the ecological sensitivity of the region. The marine borrow pit was identified in the offshore of the Daman coast about 50 km from the Vadhavan port site at a depth of about 30 meters.

Source : porttoport