NGT asks Coastal Aquaculture Authority to act on illegal aqua farms in Andhra

New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal has directed the Coastal Aquaculture Authority to take appropriate action against encroachments in coastal areas in Andhra Pradesh by aquaculture farms and for other violations of environmental norms by them, including causing of pollution, following a media report.

The principal bench, headed by NGT Chairperson, Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, noted that the media report does not identify any individual violators though it makes allegations of the general failure of governance to check illegalities.

“In pursuance of the judgment of the Supreme Court in S. Jagannath vs. Union of India & Ors, the Parliament has enacted the Coastal Aquaculture Authority Act, 2005. Functions of the said authority include regulation of operation of aquaculture farms in coastal areas by registration subject to conditions which can then be enforced. There are provisions for the registration of persons carrying on coastal aquaculture activities and adherence to the norms being overseen by the authorities. Conducting such activities without registration is a punishable offence,” it said in an order dated April 29.

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The NGT said it finds it appropriate to refer the issue raised in the media report to the Authority for further appropriate action in accordance with the law.

The media report highlighted encroachment of Kolleru Lake and Buckingham Canal at several locations. It stated that electric wires are laid on the ground, putting workers’ lives at risk, while waste from the aquaculture pond is polluting the fields. Several aquaculture farms are also operating without the permission of the Authority.

Other areas mentioned are the Kolleru and the Nizampatnam area of Guntur district, Chinnaganjam to Gudluru in Prakasam district, Mandavalli Mandalam in Krishna district, as well as several mandals in Guntur, East Godavari, Vishakapatnam, West Godavari, and Nellore districts.

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