NGT constitutes committee to mitigate pollution woes of Phalguni

Tribunal takes cognisance of news report and photographs on fish kill appearing in The Hindu recently

Published - May 03, 2022 12:12 am IST - MANGALURU

The National Green Tribunal has noted through media reports that the water of the Phalguni gets polluted due to flow of sewage and industrial effluents in Mangaluru.

The National Green Tribunal has noted through media reports that the water of the Phalguni gets polluted due to flow of sewage and industrial effluents in Mangaluru. | Photo Credit: ANIL KUMAR SASTRY

Taking congnisance of news reports appearing in The Hindu about the pollution of the Phalguni (Gurupura) in Mangaluru, the principal Bench of the National Green Tribunal has constituted a five-member committee to suggest measures to mitigate the pollution and restore the water quality.

A full Bench of the tribunal, comprising chairperson Adarsh Kumar Goel, judicial member Sudhir Agarwal and expert member A. Senthil Vel, on April 29 took congnisance of media reports.

It said prima facie it appears that untreated effluents and sewage were being discharged into the river by industries in the area without any regulation by the statutory authorities concerned in violation of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974.

The tribunal took note of the recent news item about the fish that were found dead downstream the Malavoor vented dam dollowing the flow of industrial and domestic effluents into the River. Photographs in the media report suggest that the colour of the water has turned black due to effluents released by industries in Baikampady Industrial Area.

Therefore, the tribunal said it was necessary to ascertain facts and ensure remedial action for enforcement of Rule of Law, protection of environment and bio-diversity.

The stretch of the Phalguni may be treated as polluted river stretch for formulation and execution of restoration plan, defining timelines and budgetary backup. Field survey be conducted to identify sewage and industrial effluent entering into the said river. Target for restoration of water quality is required to be at level of “Class B of Primary Water Quality Criteria.”

It constituted a committee comprising regional officers of Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Central Pollution Control Board in Bengaluru and Karnataka State Pollution Control Board, Director of Fisheries, Karnataka and the District Magistrate, Dakshina Kannada. KSPCB would be the nodal agency for coordination and compliance.

The committee may meet within two weeks and undertake visit to the site, interact with the stakeholders, ascertain the cause of the incident and suggest remedial measures.

If polluters were identified, they may be put to notice so that they can file their response, if any, before the tribunal. Based on the observations during the proceedings of the committee, the statutory regulators may take remedial action.

It directed the committee to file a factual and action taken report within two months. The case was posted to August 1.

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