The Ministry of Environment and Forests has given green light to the Centre’s Rs 72,000 crore project on the Greater Nicobar Island

Environmental clearance has been granted to the Centre’s ambitious multi-development projects on Greater Nicobar Island, India’s southernmost point and a strategically significant area. As of last year, the project had received in-principle approval from the ministry.

An international container transshipment terminal, a military-civil dual-use airport, a solar energy plant, and an integrated township are among the ambitious plans of the Indian government. The Indian Navy will be responsible for the development of the port.

To implement this project, the Ministry of Environment and Forests has approved the diversion of just over 130 square kilometers of forest land and the feeling of approximately 8.5 lakh trees. There is a possibility that the project will adversely affect the coral reef and the mangrove cover in the area.

There are two tribes inhabiting the Greater Nicobar island: the Shompens and the Nicobarese. Two national parks near the project area are Galathea Bay National Park and Campbell Bay National Park.

“The project received environmental clearance at Stage 1 10 days ago. It is now time for the project proponent to apply for Stage II clearance, which will involve the examination of several compliances. An official of the ministry stated that this process might take months.

Leatherback sea turtles and other important species are found in the Greater Nicobar region. These include Nicobar macaques, Nicobar megapodes, saltwater crocodiles, and rare and endemic plants such as tree ferns and orchids. It was decided to proceed with the project based on the port’s strategic importance.

Given India’s presence in the Bay of Bengal and China’s increasing aggression in the South China Sea, this project is of the utmost strategic importance. The recent docking of a Chinese survey ship in Sri Lanka has increased the urgency of this project. There is no doubt that this project is of great national significance, and the Home Ministry has been very clear about its importance. The ministry has been diligent in its clearances and has involved the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI), Wildlife Institute of India (WII), and Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History (SACON) in the process,” the official said.

Government officials stated that a project would be undertaken to relocate part of the coral reef affected by the project. It is anticipated that only a portion of the coral reef will be affected by the construction of the port, as it will not extend along the entire coastline. Coral has been translocated previously. The ZSI will handle this activity,” the official stated.

Meanwhile, the WII is working on a conservation management plan for leatherback turtles, which will also be impacted.


Hi, my name is Nisha and I'm an educational journalist based in India. I've always been passionate about the power of education to transform lives, and that's what led me to pursue a career in journalism focused on this area. I completed my Bachelor's degree in English from Hindu College in Delhi in 2013 and then went on to earn my Master's in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication in 2017. During my studies, I also completed several short-term courses on Education in India, Sociology, and other related subjects to deepen my knowledge in this field. I'm particularly interested in improving access to quality education in rural areas, where students often face significant challenges. I've worked on a number of initiatives to address this issue, including advocating for better policies, resources, and practices that can make a difference. As an educational journalist, I'm passionate about using my platform to highlight important issues in the education space. I've covered a wide range of topics, including the impact of technology in the classroom, innovative approaches to teaching and learning, and the challenges facing students from marginalized communities. One of the things I love most about my work is the opportunity to constantly learn and grow. I'm an avid reader and believe that reading is key to expanding one's knowledge and perspective. I'm always seeking out new ideas and insights to help me better understand the world around me. In summary, as an educational journalist, I'm dedicated to using my skills and expertise to make a positive impact in the field of education. I'm committed to improving access to quality education for all students and to using my platform to raise awareness about important issues in this area.

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