Adani Ports and SEZ Ltd (APSEZ) is India’s largest private multi-port operator, and a part of the Adani Group. It operates eight ports in India and four ports abroad.

Adani Group had started its port business first and then expended its activities around the Mundra area. The Port of Mundra is not only a private port, but it is also a special economic zone. Incorporated in 1998 as Gujarat Adani Port Limited (GAPL), the company began operating in 2001 at Mundra. The Mundra Special Economic Zone was incorporated in 2003 and was merged with GAPL in 2006. The combined company was renamed “Mundra Port and Special Economic Zone Limited.”In 1994, the Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) approved setting up a captive jetty at the Port of Mundra. In 1998, a joint-sector company, the Gujarat Adani Port Ltd., was incorporated and multi-purpose berths 1 and 2 at Terminal I began operating. In 1999, multi-purpose berths 3 and 4 opened at Terminal I.

Adani Power, a subsidiary of Adani Group has developed a 4,620MW coal-fired power plant at Mundra, on the Gulf of Kutch in Gujarat, India. At full generating capacity, the plant is the largest single-location, private-sector coal-fired power plant in the world. Adani Group –a $9.4 billion conglomerate with businesses spanning coal mining and trade, oil & gas exploration, power generation and transmission – also owns a port and Special Economic Zone at Mundra (MPSEZ).

The coal plant, port and Special Economic Zone have transformed the coastline on the Gulf of Kutch, spanning some 40km of coastline and supporting industrial development of an area of approximately 10,000ha. According to the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO) for the International Finance Corporation (IFC), which investigated a complaint against the adjacent Coastal Gujarat Power Limited (CGPL) coal plant at Mundra, “cumulative impacts arising from the overall development of the coastal area include (but are not limited to) the following: ambient air quality, noise, groundwater pollution, seawater pollution, labor influx, and impact on livelihoods.”

Problems posed:

  1. On September 14, 2012, the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF, Government of India constituted a Committee for inspection of Adani Port and SEZ Ltd., Mundra, Gujarat. The Committee was set up based on complaints received from Kheti Vikas Sewa Trust and Machimar Adhikar Sangharsh Sangathan (MASS) regarding severe impact upon environment safety and integrity in the Mundra Port and SEZ Limited area committed by M/s Adani Port and SEZ Limited.The Committee report released in April 2013 pointed towards gross environmental law and procedural violations. In the Committee’s view the Adani Port and SEZ Ltd., Mundra, which had been granted clearance in different phases beginning from 1995, has led to massive ecological changes. The Ministry of Environment and Forests slammed rupees 200-crore penalty on the Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone for violating environment laws at the group’s MPSEZ in Kutch district.Adani Port and SEZ Ltd. damaged mangroves and creeks while setting up the port project under Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone. Apart, from this, they have shown a complete disregard for environmental procedures and have followed all sorts of malpractices to push this project at a very fast pace which has been well substantiated in this report.
  2. The CAO audit report (after a complaint was filed against the environmental and social safeguard violations by the local fishing community) on the Tata Mundra Ultra Mega Power Project (which is located within the MPSEZ), also documents the environmental violations by MPSEZ. The report states, “The coastline, particularly to the east of CGPL, is undergoing rapid transformation. The area under development by MPSEZ alone is envisaged as spanning some 40km of coastline, and supporting industrial development covering an area of approximately 10,000ha.”The audit report also mentions, “MPSEZ is a major industrial development and its owners, the Adani Group, have been the subject of multiple allegations of environmental wrongdoing in recent years, particularly in relation to the destruction of mangroves around MPSEZ.”

More on our engagements at:

New report reveals the World Bank’s murky financial entanglements with India’s most irresponsible corporations (December 22, 2016): https://www.inclusivedevelopment.net/new-report-reveals-the-world-banks-murky-financial-entanglements-with-indias-most-irresponsible-corporations/

Bankrolling India’s Dirty Dozen https://www.inclusivedevelopment.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Outsourcing-Development-India.pdf

Outsourcing Development:  Lifting the veil on the World Bank Group’s lending through financial intermediaries https://www.inclusivedevelopment.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Outsourcing-Development-Introduction.pdf

Outsourcing Development: Lifting the Veil on the World Bank Group’s Lending Through Financial Intermediaries https://www.inclusivedevelopment.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Outsourcing-Development-Climate.pdf

THE SUFFERING OF OTHERS: The human cost of the International Finance Corporation’s lending through financial intermediaries https://www.inclusivedevelopment.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/ib-suffering-of-others-international-finance-coperation-020415-en2.pdf

Australia’s Partnership with an Indian Mining Giant Could Destroy the Great Barrier Reef http://www.greenpeace.org/australia/en/news/climate/Australias-Partnership-With-an-Indian-Mining-Giant-Could-Destroy-the-Great-Barrier-Reef/

Doing Business in Modi’s Gujarat https://www.forbes.com/sites/meghabahree/2014/03/12/doing-big-business-in-modis-gujarat/#25be24fb4df5

On May 21, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it would hear the landmark lawsuit, filed by the villagers of Mundra, challenging the absolute immunity of powerful institutions like the International Finance Corporation (IFC). The villagers are affected by the coal-fired Tata Mundra Ultra Mega Project, which was partially funded by the IFC.

This will be the first time the US Supreme Court will address the scope of international organisations’ immunity.

Visit here to know more about the case or to access the documents.