New Delhi | The Congress has criticised the Centre over the National Green Tribunal constituting a committee to re-examine the environmental nod to the Great Nicobar Island project, alleging that the Modi government has embarked on "ecocide" and what is being pushed through is an "ecological nightmare".
The National Green Tribunal has constituted a high-powered committee to re-examine the environmental clearance granted to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands Integrated Development Corporation (ANIDCO) for the multi-component mega project in the Great Nicobar Island.
Alongside the development of an international container transhipment terminal, the project also involves the construction of a military-civil dual-use airport, a gas-, diesel- and solar-based power plant, and a township.
Tagging a media report on the committee's constitution, Congress general secretary and former Union environment minister Jairam Ramesh on Friday said, "When we are applauding 50 years of Chipko Andolan and Project Tiger and 40 years of the historic decision to protect Silent Valley, the Modi government has embarked on ecocide in Great Nicobar." "What is being pushed through is an ecological nightmare," Ramesh said.
The National Green Tribunal was hearing appeals against forest clearance and environmental clearance provided to the project proponent ANIDCO. On January 11, it had sought a response from the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and the project proponent.
A bench of chairperson Justice AK Goel along with judicial members Justice Sudhir Agarwal, Justice B Amit Sthalekar and Justice Arun Kumar Tyagi said there was a need for adequate studies on the adverse impact on coral reefs, mangroves, turtle nesting sites, bird nesting sites, other wildlife, of erosion, disaster management and other conservation and mitigation measures.