MCZMA Gives Its Nod For Laying ATF Pipeline From JNPA To NMIA

MCZMA Gives Its Nod For Laying ATF Pipeline From JNPA To NMIA

The project proponent has to ensure that no mangroves cutting should be involved in the project and there will be no violation of the High Court order.

Bhalchandra ChorghadeUpdated: Thursday, June 27, 2024, 09:26 PM IST
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The Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) has granted Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearance to the proposed 22-km-long Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) pipeline to be laid by the Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL). The pipeline will be laid from Jawaharlal Nehru Port Authority (JNPA) to the proposed Navi Mumbai International Airport (NMIA). The MCZMA gave its nod during its 174th meeting held on June 3 & 4, 2024.

As part of the airport project, a dedicated ATF fuel facility will be developed within the airport area by the Navi Mumbai International Airport Ltd (NMIAL) which will be connected to the ATF supply point existing at IOCL-JNPA terminal.

The Authority noted that being a public utility project, it can be allowed with prior CRZ clearance from the Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change (MoEF&CC). After deliberation, the Authority decided to recommend the proposal to the MoEF&CC subject to compliance of certain conditions.

It stated that the proposed pipeline should be carried out strictly as per the provisions of CRZ Notification, 2019 (as amended from time to time) and guidelines/ clarifications given by MoEF&CC from time to time. Prior permission from the Bombay High Court should be obtained by the project proponent (IOCL) as per order dated September 17, 2018, since the proposed pipeline falls within mangrove and its 50 m buffer zone areas.

The project proponent has to ensure that no mangroves cutting should be involved in the project and there will be no violation of the High Court order. An NoC from the mangrove cell should be obtained besides forest clearance under Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 for diversion of the forest land, if applicable, the MCZMA observed.

The project proponent has also been asked to implement mitigation measures and environment management plan as stipulated in the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) report, effectively and efficiently during construction and operational phase of the project to ensure that coastal environment is protected. All other required permissions from different statutory authorities need to be obtained before starting construction at the site and this shall be ensured by the Urban Local Body.

Stating that the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) has awarded the work of laying common use ATF pipeline from JNPA to NMIA to the IOCL, a senior CIDCO official said, “The permission to Right of Work (RoW) has been issued by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and the CIDCO. The pipeline will run up to the fuel farm within NMIA.”

Expressing happiness over the decision, JNPA Chairman Unmesh Sharad Wagh said, “We welcome the decision since it will give JNPA the cargo. We will also extend all cooperation to IOCL to lay the pipeline, if need be.”

Environment watchdog, NatConnect Foundation said that while the airport is notably an important project, it has thrown several environmental concerns to the winds. “Ensuring ATF is of course a very important aspect of the airport functioning. However, the pipeline work can cause environmental concerns as there is no monitoring authority to check the execution as per the MCZMA stipulations,” Director of the NatConnect Foundation, B N Kumar said.

Stating that environmental monitoring is a very serious issue which the authorities have been ignoring, Kumar said, “At the MCZMA meeting, the expert member inquired about the impact on mangroves to which the project proponent said the work will not impact the tidal plants. But our apprehension is that the debris and the slur that will be generated during the pipeline work, is bound to kill some mangroves.”

“Going by a plethora of violations by various project proponents after obtaining clearances, our fear is that the same scenario will be repeated in this project as well. It is in this context that we call for an independent monitoring authority,” Kumar added. 

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