Adani's Mundra port and SEZ gets green clearance

Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd (APSEZ), India's largest port developer, has secured environmental and coastal regulation zone clearance for its 8,481 hectare special economic zone in Mundra, Gujarat.

Adani's Mundra port and SEZ gets green clearanceThe clearance from the union ministry for environment and forests (MoEF), which was stalled under the previous government, clears the way for the group to build a huge desalination plant and an effluent treatment plant, Adani said.

The Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone, part of Gautam Adani's Adani Group, said in a statement the environment ministry had granted environment and coastal regulation zone clearance for its Mundra Special Economic Zone.

Mundra is now a major industrial zone hosting the country's largest commercial port and largest privately-owned power plant.

The rapid growth of Mundra, a once-remote coastal town on the Gulf of Kutch in Gujarat, has prompted some opponents to say the state government, then headed by Narendra Modi, favoured Adani with cheap land.

Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd (APSEZ), India's largest port developer, on Wednesday said it had secured environment and coastal regulation zone clearance for its 8,481 hectares special economic zone in Mundra, Gujarat, from the Union ministry for environment and forests (MoEF).

The clearance will now allow APSEZ to set up primary infrastructure to be provided to companies setting up business units in the SEZ, the company said in a statement.

In January, the Supreme Court granted an interim stay on a Gujarat High Court order shutting down the 12 operational units at the industrial enclave run by the company in Mundra. In its interim order, the Supreme Court allowed all the units to continue to function, but restrained them from carrying out further construction.

As many as 12 units, according to the high court, were operating in the company's SEZ at Mundra, in Kutch district of Gujarat, despite a high court order passed in May 2012 ordering all units in the zone to close down for lack of environment clearances.

The order was in response to a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by the villagers of Navinal, near Mundra.

According to the villagers, the company had violated environment norms by allotting land to individual units without the mandatory environmental clearance required under the Environmental Impact Assessment Notification of 2006.

Adani owns and operates five ports - Mundra, Dahej, Hazira, Goa and Visakhapatnam in India. In the previous year, Mundra Port crossed the 100-million tonne mark in terms of cargo handling.

Adani recently acquired Dhamra Port, located in the state of Odisha, thereby marking its entry on the east coast of India.

It is also setting up ports in Tuna Tekra, Mormugao, Kandla and Ennore.

SEZs are treated as deemed foreign territories from the perspective of several economic laws. Industrial units in the SEZ benefit from complete waiver on import duty, excise duty and service tax for capital goods or raw materials procured.