Concerns about the inclusion of Vizhinjam port boundary in CZMP

Due to concerns about the inclusion of Vizhinjam port boundary in the draft Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP) prepared for Thiruvananthapuram District based on the 2019 Coastal Regulatory Zone Notice, the Kerala Coastal Zone Management Authority has started to do so
Reevaluation of the shapefile (a geospatial vector data format in GIS) overlaid on the CZMP.

KCZMA officials said the port area map was obtained from VISL (Vizhinjam International Seaport Limited), which is incorporated into CZMP.

KCZMA now checks whether the drawing was created correctly. A government order under which the card was approved is also under review.

“The drawing needs to be checked again. We will address public concerns about port limitation for CZMP. It is also necessary to check whether the administrative order regarding the card is still in force,” said an official.

During a public hearing in May to discuss proposals and objections to the CZMP, residents and stakeholders raised concerns and questions about why the port boundary was marked in the CZMP. It is known that in the CZMP published for other districts, no other port boundary is specified.

A significant part around the CRZ area is marked as a port boundary in the maps published according to the CRZ-Notification 2019. Participants in the public hearing questioned why such a demarcation was being made and raised concerns about whether it would result in further disruption to construction work in the area.

The main concern was whether future construction work in the area designated as the port boundary would require a permit from the port authorities.

Suneel Pamidi, ex officio member secretary of the KCZMA, who was present at the meeting, had stated that such approval was not required.

However, residents could not be persuaded to include port boundaries in the CZMP, as no other ports or structures in the district had such boundaries.

One of the main concerns was that the areas designated as port boundaries also included locations that were exempt from the port acquisition requirement. For example, residents questioned whether this would create a buffer zone where the public could not conduct any land transactions.

KCZMA has already started handling complaints related to Thiruvananthapuram. Among the complaints is the concern about port limitations. Once the accuracy of the map is verified, a report will be produced in response to questions asked during the public consultation.

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