The Southern Bench of the National Green Tribunal has cleared the way for the expansion of the East Coast Road from Kudimiyandithopu near Chennai to Koonimedu on the outskirts of Puducherry.
Disposing of a petition filed by S Venkatesh of T Nagar, the bench, comprising MS Nambiar and expert member PS Rao, pronounced a 40-page order on Monday, wherein it said the project doesn’t attract Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) or Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notifications.
By virtue of this order, Tamil Nadu Road Development Corporation could carry out road works from Kudimiyandithopu near Chennai to Koonimedu on the outskirts of Puducherry.
Counsel for the Tamil Nadu Road Development Corporation (TNRDC) Adbul Saleem submitted that there was no need for a separate Environment Clearance or CRZ clearance for the stretch as the right of way received in 1995 was around 40 to 45 metres.
However, the road work was done on a smaller stretch only. The expansion of the road would happen only within this existing right of way.
Earlier, the NGT had stopped the entire project work and later permitted TNRDC to work till Mamallapuram. The NGT Bench has now dismissed the application holding that environment clearance or the CRZ clearance was not required and directed the project proponent to follow certain conditions, including planting broadleaved indigenous trees suitable to the locality within two months and filing the status report regarding 51 trees already planted.