It’s no secret that hotels and restaurants dotting along the Puri beach are responsible for polluting the area by letting their effluents into the sea. Despite crying hoax alleging violation of coastal zone regulation (CRZ) norms, the State government, Odisha Pollution Control Board and even the Union Environment Ministry have failed to achieve much in Puri as over 300 unauthorised constructions here are now constantly ruining the beach.

However, terming the environment pollution in the beach as human rights (HR) violation, a Puri-based social organisation recently made an appeal to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on the contentious issue.

Seeking to impose heavy penalty on the erring hotels and restaurants, the India Media Centre in its plea urged the commission to slap a minimum fine of Rs. 20 lakh for violating the basic rights of the tourists visiting the beach.

Taking up the application filed by the managing trustee of India Media Centre, the NHRC has recently issued a notice to the State Chief Secretary, asking him to brief the commission within six weeks about what action has been taken by the State government over the issue till date.

The petition to the NHRC maintains that the hotels are discharging their effluents into the sea and polluting the area in complete defiance of the norms of CRZ, while the pollution control board and the governments (both State and Central) are silent spectators.

The petitioner further alleged that the local authorities have turned a blind eye to the unauthorised constructions in the area and over a decade, the Puri sea beach has turned into a dump yard.