India's Kerala to examine impact of Adani's port construction on coastline

Indian billionaire Gautam Adani addresses delegates during the Bengal Global Business Summit in Kolkata

By Chris Thomas

BENGALURU (Reuters) - India's Kerala state will set up a committee to examine whether there was coastal erosion during the ongoing construction of a port being built by Asia's richest man, Gautam Adani, according to a government order seen by Reuters.

The construction of the port, which began in 2015 in the town of Vizhinjam at the southern tip of India, has faced opposition from local residents and fishermen, who say it is causing coastal erosion.

A committee of experts will examine whether there has been any coastal erosion and speak to local representatives before issuing a final report, the government order said.

A spokesperson for the Adani group did not respond to a request for comment.

Local media in August reported that the company had approached a local court asking for police protection for employees working on the construction, saying their lives were in danger from protesters.

The Vizhinjam port is the only transshipment hub in the Indian subcontinent, and offers large-scale automation, according to a description on the Adani ports logistics website.

(Reporting by Chris Thomas in Bengaluru; writing by Shilpa Jamkhandikar; editing by Jason Neely)