Wilfred J v. Ministry of Environment & Forests
Side A: Wilfred J (Individual)
Side B: Ministry of Environment & Forests (Government)
Challenge to construction of port project.
Application for, inter alia, protection of ‘areas likely to be inundated due to rise in sea level consequent upon global warming'. The appellants (applicants in Application No. 74 of 2014 hereafter commonly referred as ‘appellants) are persons interested in the protection of environment and ecology. They are persons aggrieved and affected due to the Vizhinjam Port Project (for short ‘the project'). The Appellants are fishermen belonging to families that traditionally do fishing in the project area and are representatives of the larger community of fisher folk who inhabit that area. By the project, not only the ecology and environment of that area would be affected but there would also be adverse impact on their livelihood. The Appellants are also the registered members of the Fish Workers Welfare Board formed by the Government of Kerala to give assistance to the people in the fishing occupation. This is the benchmark to determine that Appellants are sea-going fishermen. Vizhinjam International Seaport Limited (Respondent No. 3, Hereafter ‘the Project Proponent ') formulated a project for development of Vizhinjam International Deep water Multipurpose Sea Port at Vizhinjam in Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) district, in the State of Kerala. This Project involves the construction of quays, terminal area and port building and is expected to be completed in three phases. The first phase is proposed to be built on 66 hectares of land to be reclaimed from the sea. The material required for phase I reclamation is proposed to be obtained from dredging activity in the sea. This phase requires 7 million metric tonnes of stone, aggregates, sand and soil for construction of a breakwater stretching almost 3.180 Kms into the sea. This material is sought to be sourced from blasting quarries in Trivandrum and in neighbouring district of Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu State, possibly falling in Western Ghats region. After hearing the arguments, the Tribunal directs that the matter be listed for arguments on merits.