<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The proposed Inland Waterways terminal at Haldia, West Bengal, has been accorded Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ) clearance subject to specific conditions regarding protection of Gangetic dolphins and marine biodiversity. The proposed Haldia terminal on National Waterways-1 (NW- 1) will facilitate the bulk transportation of material and products through barges.The final CRZ clearance for the project came nearly six months after the Ministry of Environment and Forests’ Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) on Infrastructure Development and Coastal Regulation Zone recommended it for clearance on May 11.The Rs 516 crore project partially falls under the CRZ-IB, CRZ-II and CRZ-IVB zone and according to the EAC, the terminal’s construction will have impacts on aquatic flora and water quality. In its clearance, the environment ministry has directed that 2% of the project cost or 10.32 crore has to be spent for marine and coastal biodiversity protection and conservation measures by the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI). West Bengal Coastal Zone Management Authority has to monitor implementation of these measures every six months.Further, IWAI has to commission a study on Gangetic Dolphin habitats and formulate roadmap for its conservation with a time bound manner, within two years, the ministry said. For protection of marine ecology, the ministry has directed IWAI to ensure that mudflats around the project site should be conserved with specific focus on waders. Waders are a group of birds that feed in wetlands and mudflats.The IWAI’s Haldia terminal project is an integral part of the larger Jal Marg Vikas Project on River Ganga that involves development of the 1,620-kms long National Waterway-I between Allahabad and Haldia. In December 2016, in December 2016, Mumbai-based ITD Cementation India Limited won the bid for construction of the terminal and the work was awarded this year on June 30.According to the Ministry of Shipping’s release in September 2016, the terminal has already received an estimated cargo commitment of 5.92 million tons per annum. The Haldia terminal will be developed within the Industrial Zone of Haldia Dock complex and will include jetty, berth, storage sheds, roads green area, administrative building, silos and other allied facilities.
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