Much to the relief of green groups, the Environment Ministry on Tuesday rejected the proposal for a port in Positra in Gujarat citing possible destruction of crucial marine bio-diversity in the Gulf of Kutch.
"The National Board of Wildlife in its meeting yesterday has shot down the major proposal of Poshitra port in Gujarat as it would devastate fragile marine eco-system in the Gulf of Kutch," Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh, who chairs the Board, said.
Asserting that the rejection was based on ground realities, Ramesh said that his Ministry was not a "rubber stamp" and approval was given only when there was an overwhelming requirement.
Sources in the Board said that the minister had seriously considered the views of wildlife experts such as M K Ranjitsinh and Asad Rahmani who asserted that the proposed project would threaten marine bio-diversity at the adjacent Marine National Park at Jamnagar.
"It has rare species of corals, sponges, sea anemones, etc. There are about 477 species of mollusks, out of which about 170 are new. Endangered mammals like dugongs have also been reported in the area," the wildlife experts told the Minister.
Gujarat Positra Port Infrastructure, promoted by Sea King Infrastructure Ltd, was to develop the port along with another private player. The company has developed the Pipavav port, railway lines, integrated modern shipyards, roads and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) projects.