The National Green Tribunal (NGT), Southern Zone, has directed the Andhra Pradesh Maritime Board and the GMR Energy Limited (8 th respondent) to pay the environmental compensation to be assessed by a committee appointed by it and the cost of restoration of the damaged mangroves at Kumbabhishekam on the Kakinada coast, its replantation and maintenance for five years.
The NGT constituted a committee in 2020 to study the destruction of mudflat and mangrove cover in the Kumbabhishekam area in response to the petition filed by retired bureaucrat E.A.S. Sarma and Kakinada-based environmental activist K. Mrutyunjaya Rao.
The GMR Energy Limited has disturbed the mudflat and erected a bund at Kumbabhishekam, where it deposited dredged material amid the mangrove for transporting a barge-mounted power plant through sea route.
In a judgment delivered by Justice K. Ramakrishnan on September 27, the NGT said, “The Andhra Pradesh Maritime Board and GMR Energy Limited are jointly liable for the damage caused to the mangroves and mudflats. Both the respondents bear the expenses for restoration of the damaged portion of the mangrove area by replanting and maintaining the same and ensuring its survival rate of not less than 85%. They will have to maintain the same for five years till it attain a particular stage.”
The NGT has also directed GMR Energy Limited to remove the bund constructed along the mudflats and restore the flow of seawater as existed prior to the construction of the bund and ensure that the free flow of seawater into that area where the bund was constructed and mudflats and mangroves existed so as to restore the position prior to the construction of the bund.