The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has cleared way for the Kerala government's Vizhinjam International Seaport project being undertaken by Gujarat-based Adani Group.
The order was passed on a petition filed before the Tribunal, seeking cancellation of green clearance to the port. The nod, however, comes with certain conditions.
The NGT bench headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar refused to quash the environment clearance for the port, as demanded by the petitioners in 2014.
With both strategic and commercial importance, the under-construction Vizhinjam International Transhipment Deepwater Multipurpose Seaport is estimated over Rs 7,000 crore.
"They (NGT) have not stopped the project development and formed a committee which will give directions on the construction," Raj Panjwani, advocate of the applicant, told IANS.
The verdict does not go against the Kerala government nor is it detrimental to the port, State Ports Secretary James Varghese told the media here.
Varghese said: "The verdict has asked for an expert committee to be formed. We already have such a committee and hence only a few more members as asked by the court will be included and a new one will be formed."
The port is about 16 km from the state capital Thiruvananthapuram and just 10 nautical miles from the International Shipping Lane.
It's an ambitious project of the Kerala government and the Adani group commenced the construction on December 5 last year. The port is scheduled to be completed on December 4, 2019.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan heads the port's board of directors and Ports Minister Kadanapally Ramachandran is the Vice-Chairman.