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Subject:

Environmental/CRZ Clearance for Proposed Development of Outer Harbour at


Cochin Port, Kerala

Cochin Port, a major port under the Government of India, is located on the south-west coast
of India, in the state of Kerala with coordinates 9058N Latitude and 76016E Longitude. The
port is located on the artificially created Willingdon Island, in the vast expanse of Vembanad
backwaters, discharging into the seas through the opening in the shore.
Cochin Port is facing issue of heavy siltation in Inner Harbour and Approach Channels and
erosion of shoreline on Puthuvypeen and Fort Kochi sides. Combination of siltation and
erosion is leading to CoPT needing to spend large amount of money on annual maintenance
dredging needed to maintain required depths for safe vessel operations. In past, several
attempts/studies were made to address this issue scientifically and some groynes have been
made on southern side of the Gut. Presence of such groynes along with seawalls on south of
the mouth has reduced erosion to some extent and this has given confidence for further
comprehensive studies to work towards a permanent solution for sea erosion problems.
A study in this regard conducted by IIT, Madras on methods of reducing erosion and siltation,
recommends the need for developing an Outer Harbour. As per the
findings/recommendations of the study, the Outer Harbour is needed for following reasons:

Minimizing maintenance dredging requirements


Prevention of neighbourhood shoreline erosion, and
Facilitating development activities at the Port in future

Accordingly, a conceptual layout has been prepared by M/s i-maritime Consultancy Pvt. Ltd.
as part of Detailed Feasibility Report (DFR). The DFR has proposed construction of Two (02)
Breakwaters on both sides of the Approach Channel (Northern Breakwater 6,676 m and
Southern Breakwater 4,850 m). In addition, proposed development involves reclamation of
area within the breakwaters to create back up area for future port expansion and port related
activities by dredging and filling from channel/ basin inside proposed Outer Harbour.
China has recently developed Hambantotta Port in Sri Lanka and it may pose potential threat
to India. Since Indian Navy has shown interest in co-partnering the project this project can be
considered as important in strategic point of view. Indian Coast Guard has also requested
area for setting up of their facilities in the Outer Harbour.
As traffic build-up at Outer Harbour is envisaged to take about 8-9 years from now, no
berths, back up storage areas, etc. are planned at the reclaimed areas of proposed Outer
Harbour for present proposal. As such, present proposal as part of overall development of
Outer Harbour is only limited to construction of the breakwaters and reclamation by dredging
and filling. Proposed reclamation will create a land of ~1052 Ha at Northern Breakwater and
~263 Ha at Southern Breakwater (to be used by Navy). For this proposed development,
CoPT is seeking an Environmental/CRZ Clearance from MoEF following an EIA.
Construction of the Breakwaters, Dredging and Reclamation works for the proposed Outer
Harbour development at Cochin Port is estimated to cost around Rs. 6,020 Crores.
Construction of the Breakwaters is anticipated to commence in FY2016, after obtaining all
necessary statutory clearances, and is likely to take about 3 years for its completion.
Dredging and reclamation work will be undertaken after this and is estimated to take another
3 years for its completion.
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