The Adani group owned Vizhinjam port has reasons to rejoice as the Central Government owned National Institute of Ocean Technology gave a clean chit saying thatVizhinajmPort construction has nothing to do with the prevailing sea erosion along the Tiruvananthapuram coast.

Construction of the Vizhinjam Port was not the reason for the increased erosion seen in Thiruvanathapuram coast, the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) has said. “Climatic events led to the erosion. The construction had little impact,” said a white paper released by the Chennai-based institute that was appointed by the Vizhinjam International Seaport Limited (VISL) for the study. 

The institution has cleared the project a few years ago saying it will not create environmental problem in the region.

The whitepaper said erosion hotspots such as Shankhumukham and Valiyathura were beyond the impact area of the port..The erosion at Valiyathura and its northern stretches could be due to the presence of the groyne field to the south (Poonthura to Beemapally). It said the erosion will be rectified with sediment bypassing from the south.. 

 “Coastal erosion started in the 1970s in the Panathura- Poonthura area. However, interruption in sediment movement due to the construction has left the northern coast highly vulnerable. The coast is a continuum. So, the disruption has a cumulative effect. The disruption in sediment movement has started impacting more areas in the north.

The white paper said no conclusion was made that the north of the port is eroding or south of the port is accreting at this peculiar location. Erosion spots exist in the south and accreting spots are in the north, but there is no mention about the latter. The white paper is based on the latest report submitted to the expert committee of the National Green Tribunal and comes at a time when a government-appointed expert committee is set to begin its study on the impact of the port on the coast.

However, scientists who have studied the erosion found the whitepaper limited in scope and said the construction of the Vizhinjam port did have an impact on erosion of the coast.

The impact of the construction of the port will be felt in the next 5-10 years,” said K V Thomas, ex-scientist and group head at National Centre for Earth Science Studies was quoted in local media reports. “There is an immediate need for a detailed sediment budget study taking into account the south and north sediment movements,” he said, adding that the NIOT report was silent on sediment transportation affecting coastal continuum.

Source : porttoport