Gujarat-based conglomerate Adani Group witnessed protest from a high-profile Australian delegation against its much talked about $ 11.5 billion Carmichael Coal Project that too at its corporate office in Ahmedabad on Thursday.
In an ‘open letter’ submitted to the office of the Adani Group Chairman Gautam Adani, the delegation told that they want solar but not coal mine and asked the Indian conglomerate to abandon the project being developed in Australian state Queensland.
The delegation comprises Geoffrey Cousins of Australian Conservation Foundation, reef tourism operator Dr Lindsay Simpson, Queensland farmer Bruce Currie and Imogen Zethoven, renowned conservationist and Reef campaigner for Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS).
Adani Group is in the process to set up the project in the untapped Galilee Basin in Central Queensland. The project involves a 60 million tonne per annum coal mine, a 388-km-long rail line and the construction of a new coal export terminal at the Abbot Point coal port. Though the Australian authorities, including Australian and Queensland Government, have given the project a green signal, the project has been in controversy from the outset.
The members of the Australian delegation landed in India want Adani Group to abandon the project. They have plans to meet politicians, business representatives and civil society leaders in India over the issue.
Talking media persons outside Adani Group’s corporate office Cousins, former advisor to the ex-Australian Prime Minister John Howard said that he and other members of the delegation came in their individual capacity, but they represent several groups opposing Adani’s project.
“We are not opposing to Adani Group but the project. We won’t mind if it comes in clean energy and not environmentally dangerous coal mining. In the past, we have successfully stalled a coalmine project bigger than that of Adani’s. In Australia, Government license is not enough, public support and social licence also equally important,” he said.
Environmentalists have raised their eye-brows over Adani’s project over the issues of possible adverse impact on the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area due to burning of coal from mine.
Former Australian cricketers Ian Chappell and Greg Chappell have also joined the bandwagon and written a letter to Adanis to abandon the project.
The project would damage the fragile Reef that Australians and the world so deeply care about, said Dr. Simpson, adding, “Previous year 22 per cent of the corals in the Reef died. Tourists from across the world, including India visit the Reef and this project will kill thriving tourism industry.”
Meanwhile in a written statement Adani Group confirmed that it received a letter from Mr. Geoffrey Cousins of ACF, whose legal challenge has been dismissed by the Australian courts. Read More…