Vizhinjam Port Case: SC Paves Way for Hearing on in NGT

New Delhi
Vizhinjam Port Case: SC Paves Way for Hearing on in NGT

The Supreme Court today paved the way for resumption of hearing before the National Green Tribunal on pleas seeking withdrawal of environment clearance granted to the Vizhinjam Port Project, developed by the Adani Group in Thiruvananthapuram.

A bench comprising Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justices A K Sikri and R Banumathi lifted its stay on the proceedings before the green panel and asked it to hear the cases and dispose them within six weeks.

The court, which kept the pleas pending before it, also made it clear that there would neither be "any adjournments" nor would the panel pass any interim orders till it finally decides the matters.

The direction came on the appeals filed by Vizhinjam International Seaport Ltd (VISL) and the Kerala government against a decision of the NGT.

Dealing with a host of legal questions, the NGT had rejected the contention challenging its power and held it has all the trappings of a "Court" as the distinction between a court and a tribunal was getting thinner day by day.

The Tribunal's order had come on two sets of petitions filed before the NGT, demanding withdrawal of environment clearance given to the Vizhinjam Port Project and the second one challenging the 2011 coastal regulation zone notification.

The project in Kerala involves the construction of quays, terminal area and port building and is expected to be completed in three phases.

Adani Ports and Special Economic Zones Ltd (APSEZ), India's biggest private port operator, had won the contract for the Rs 6,000-crore project.

VISL is a special purpose government company fully owned by state government that has to act as an implementing agency for the development of the greenfield seaport at Vizhinjam in Thiruvananthapuram.

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