Dutch watchdog suspends work on waterway

30th July 2009, Comments 0 comments

A Dutch government watchdog has suspended work on a waterway between the Netherlands and Belgium, aimed at improving access to the huge Belgian port of Antwerp.

THE HAGUE - The Council of State, an advisory body to the Dutch government, said the enlargement to the tributary of the Scheldt river would be frozen after environmentalists raised concerns.

"The navigation channel can be neither enlarged nor deepened for the time being," the body said in a statement, in response to an appeal from environmental groups that the work could damage the area's natural beauty.

A final decision on the issue would be made later in the year, the council said.

It was hoped the expansion would allow larger ships to pass along the channel from the southern Netherlands to the port of Antwerp.


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