Defence Ministry says it is a strategic requirement

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has granted environment and Coastal Regulatory Zone clearances for setting up Missile Testing Launch Facility on the Bay of Bengal coast and Technical Facility at Gullalamoda village in Krishna district.

With this, all necessary clearances to begin the construction work have been obtained by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

The Hindu has access to a copy of the EC and CRZ clearance that was communicated by MoEFCC to K. Radhakrishna, Chief Construction Engineer (R&D)-S, Defence Research and Development Organisation, Secunderabad, on July 3.

The EC and CRZ clearance document says: “There is confirmation from Secretary, Ministry of Defence, that this project is a strategic requirement and of national importance and cannot be located anywhere else. It is thus exempted from the public hearing as per EIA notification 2016.”

The Environmental Appraisal Committee of the MoEFCC appraised the DRDO’s EC and CRZ applications during its 34th meeting in August 2018.

Technical Studies

IIT-Madras and WAPCOS have done the key technical studies required for the project.

The MoEFCC has also placed 11 conditions, including preparation of Oil contingency management plan and disaster management plan, before the commencement of the construction of the project.

The DRDO has proposed to set up the project on 154.4 hectares in the Krishna Wildlife Sanctuary in Krishna district.

Robust Plan

The technical facility will be developed on 130.15 hectares, while the test facility will come up on the 6.07 hectares, according to the project design.

“The DRDO has already prepared a robust plan to commence the construction work. All the necessary procedures to begin the construction work have been completed,” sources associated with the project told The Hindu on condition of anonymity.