The National Green Tribunal (Southern Zone - Chennai) on April 12 directed the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to submit a report on the alleged release of contaminated chemical water into the Godavari River by Andhra Paper Mill Limited (APML) in Rajamahendravaram city.
Judicial Member Justice Pushpa Sathyanarayana and Expert Member Satyagopal Korlapati of the NGT on April 12 heard the case (OA No. 33/2023) online. The case was filed by the residents surrounding the paper mill.
In the order, the NGT has stated; “Since It is alleged that the 7th Respondent (Andhra Paper Mill Ltd) is polluting the area by releasing the contaminated chemical water into the Godavari river and the unit continues to violate the environment clearance and consent conditions, the applicant has sought for closure of the paper mill. We direct the CPCB to inspect the premises and file a detailed report in relevance to the allegations made by the applicant.”
A copy of the NGT order is with The Hindu. Andhra Paper Limited was formerly known as M/s International Paper APPM Ltd.
The NGT has also directed the Andhra Paper Mill Limited to file a report on whether it had honoured its written commitment (2022) to the ‘compliance of all the conditions’ given to the second applicant, Marri Pushparaj.
The NGT also stated that notice should also be issued to all the respondents including AP Pollution Control Board (4th Respondent) and East Godavari District Collector (5th Respondent). The next hearing is scheduled to be held on May 22.
The local residents, who moved the NGT, alleged in the petition that the discharge of untreated chemical wastewater into the Godavari is polluting the river ecosystem, apart from causing various health hazards, including kidney ailments, breathing and lung complications, in the nearby areas.