NGT forms panel to trace source of marine pollution

Discoloration of seawater was recently seen on Guddekopla Beach near Surathkal

Published - May 25, 2022 12:07 am IST - MANGALURU

A May 13, 2022 photo shows polluted sea water lashing the Guddekopla Beach near Surathkal.

A May 13, 2022 photo shows polluted sea water lashing the Guddekopla Beach near Surathkal. | Photo Credit: H.S. Manjunath

The Principal Bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has formed a joint committee to find out the source of discoloration of seawater, which was recently seen on Guddekopla Beach near Surathkal here.

The joint committee comprises the Central Pollution Control Board, the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board, the Dakshina Kannada Deputy Commissioner, the Mangaluru unit of the Indian Coast Guard, the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) in Mangaluru and the Department of Ocean Development, Chennai.

The KSPCB will be the nodal agency for coordination and compliance.

The Bench said that the committee may meet within two weeks. After ascertaining facts by undertaking site visit and interaction with stakeholders, the committee should submit its report within two months by email:

The Bench comprising Adarsh Kumar Goel, chairperson, Sudhir Agarwal, judicial member, and A. Senthil Vel, expert member, passed the order after taking suo motu cognisance of a report in newspapers covering the statement of Deputy Commissioner K.V. Rajendra regarding discoloration of seawater.

In the statement, the Deputy Commissioner, quoting KSPCB and Coastal Regulatory Zone officials as saying, said that on physical observation, discoloration appears to be algal bloom, which is common during the beginning of the pre-monsoon rain. Due to high wind and wave action, there will be a churning effect. The sediments at the bottom come up and when exposed to sunlight, there will be algal bloom. However, Dr. Rajendra said that water samples have been sent to CMFRI for testing oil and grease content, if any.

In the order passed on Monday, the Bench noted that discoloration of seawater adversely affects sea bass fish. Fishermen and environmentalists have raised concern over the death of some fish in cages in the Phalguni in the Tannirbhavi and Bangrakulur areas. Tarballs, the Bench said, are formed out of oil waste dumped by ships mid-sea.

“In view of the above, sources of pollution need to be identified and addressed,” the Bench noted.

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