Supporting Peoples Democracy

One of the core mandates of HRF is to promote the rule of law. In our environmental justice and coastal watch programme, we do this by ensuring due process in developmental projects, especially regarding free, prior, informed, consent (FPIC) of the coastal communities. We educate the communities in the due process (environmental impact assessment, public hearings) so that they can meaningfully participate.

Public Hearing on KU Thermal Power Plant on 25th July 2014 at Tuticorin Read more

Seminar on Protecting the Life and Livelihood of the Fishing People and Coastal Ecology Read more

As part of the mandate to ensure compliance with the law and due process, some of the litigation are:

 Sethu Samudhram Shipping Canal Project (SSCP)
Coastal Action Network (CAN) represented by O. Fernandes, Co-Convenor in its petition before the High Court and Supreme Court argued that the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) for the Project was undertaken rapidly and was unscientific.

Chettinadu Power Corporation (attempt to start a thermal power plant)

Litigation (Application No.114/2013) filed against clearance given by Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) to setup a 600 MW x 2 = 1200 MW Thermal Power plant at Tharagampadi, Nagapattinam District proposed by Chettinadu Power Corporation was heard in the National Green Tribunal Chennai and New Delhi. The case was decided in our favour in 2018.

Sea walls and shoulders (groynes) along the coast of Pondicherry and some parts of Cuddalore and Villupuram districts of Tamil Nadu
Litigation (Application No.4/2013) filed against building sea walls and shoulders (groynes) along the coast of Pondicherry and some parts of Cuddalore and Villupuram districts of Tamil Nadu filed in the National Green Tribunal, South Zone Bench continues. A book containing photographic evidence of spots of erosion along the Tamil Nadu Coast was produced in the National Green Tribunal as on evidence.

The National Green Tribunal not only upheld our contentions but extended it to all coastal states, and asked the chief secretaries of all coastal states to file status reports.

Cheyyur Ultra Mega Thermal Power Plant
Captive marine terminal and coal conveyor of Panaiyur Chinnakkuppam along with Cheyyur Ultra Mega Power Project 4000 MW (6×660 MW) by Ms. Coastal Tamil Nadu Power Ltd., at Cheyyur, is proposed without any assessment of the possible impacts along the coasts due to the proliferation of ports and power plants by considering cumulative impacts of these developments. At present there is no such study or reports available with the District Administration or the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board.

We have filed litigation as Appeal No. 162/2013 at Nation Green Tribunal South Zone Bench at Chennai. Pleading has been completed and arguments were completed.

CZMP’s Plans and Maps
Ossie Fernandes, Co-Convenor has filed a litigation (Application No.86 / 2014) in National Green Tribunal, Chennai to cancel the public hearings scheduled on various dates and districts regarding CZMP’s and Maps as currently available is violative of 2011 CRZ Notification. Our contention is that Public Hearings should be called for only after making Coastal Zone Management Maps for public perusal, giving at least 60 days time to enable the public to study and present their views. Our contention was accepted by NGT and the proposed Public Hearing scheduled was stopped and hence our petition was disposed off.

Our litigation against illegally conducted public hearing for preparing CZMP
The public hearings were conducted in a manner contrary to the CRZ Notification, 2011 being available to the public. No “plan” has been drafted by the respondents but only a map with survey numbers has been prepared in English. There is no narration of the “Plan” and the reasons for departure from the earlier plan now in force. The old plan or map is not even available to the public. The website of the 5th respondent also does not contain the old plan or maps along with the notice of public hearing.it is submitted that in these circumstances, it is impossible for the public to have effectively participated in the public hearing process since no information has been made available by the respondents. Hence Ossie Fernandes, Co-Convenor of CAN filed the litigation at NGT. Our application was accepted and number as 141/ 2014.

This matter came up on 10/10/2014 the respondent Counsel sought time for filing reply.