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Land reclamation from sea appears cheaper!

Distinguished scientist Dr G Thyagarajan (GT) suggests moving industries into the sea to tackle the problem of land acquisition and its high cost. Reclamation of land from sea is nothing new. Large land areas in Mumbai have been reclaimed from sea. Ports across the country have major portions built on such reclaimed land. Chairman of Tuticorin Port, Anantha Chandra Bose, referred to a Rs 25,000 crore project to build the Tuticorin outer harbour on land reclaimed from sea.  

Several island nations and coastal cities build their airports on land reclaimed from sea.

Such a step will eliminate the need for the long time involved in getting the consent of land owners for acquiring land. It appears the cost of the land reclaimed is cheaper than the land costs inland! GT recommends a large number of industries such as leather and textiles that are coming increasingly under strict pollution control measures, could be located mid-sea.

In my recent visits to textile units in Karur, Tirupur and Coimbatore, I noticed hundreds of tanning and dyeing units closed down due to the lack of effluent treatment facilities.  Land-locked towns, far removed from the coast, also could not have effective systems to let out treated effluents. The zero discharge concept is found impractical and unviable. Instead of spending on expensive pipelines over long distances, GT’s suggestion to locate such units inside the sea merits attention. GT should know: as  the science Head of the Commonwealth Secretariat, London, he championed the cause of dozens of developing countries to realise the potential of their sovereign rights over marine resources spread over 200 nautical miles.

 

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