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Demolish illegal aquaculture farms: NGT- Mrit News

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Bench forms Monitoring Committee to supervise the action taken by the authority near Pakkam

Bench forms Monitoring Committee to supervise the action taken by the authority near Pakkam

The Special Bench of the National Green Tribunal has directed the Coastal Aquaculture Authority (CAA), Chennai, to put an end to all illegal coastal aquaculture activities in its jurisdiction being carried out without registration or in violation of the Coastal Aquaculture Authority Act, 2005. The Bench noted that enforcement was “highly inadequate” at the moment and unregistered aquaculture activities were found in abundance.

The Bench directed the authority to initiate prosecution against the violators and assess compensation for past violations.

The directions came in a case related to illegal prawn culture aqua farm activities at Pakkam village in Tiruvallur district, near the Chitteri waterbody, which is a source of drinking water to Chennai. The waterbody is part of the Pazhaverkadu Bird Sanctuary and close to Pulicat Lake.

The Bench said there were large-scale violations as per the tribunal’s findings and there was a need for strict enforcement by the statutory authorities that needs to be overseen by a monitoring committee “at least for some time”. The Bench constituted a monitoring committee headed by member-secretary, National Coastal Zone Management Authority (NCZMA), a nominee of the director of NCSCM, TNCZMA, the CAA and Chief Wildlife Warden, Tamil Nadu, as members for six months. The Bench directed the committee chairman to call a meeting within two weeks, take stock of the situation, prepare an action plan and execute it within a reasonable time.

The Bench noted that as per CRZ notification, aquaculture activities in the Coastal Regulation Zone were prohibited but under the CAA Act, the same have been permitted beyond 200 metres from the High Tide Line in the CRZ area subject to registration. “Even permitted coastal aquaculture activity is subject to regulation as per CRZ Notification, 1991/2011/2019,” the Bench said.

Further, the Bench said the CAA Act was not an exhaustive law and water pollution was still governed by the Water Act, wildlife protection was governed by the Wildlife Act and assessment of impact on coastal area was governed by the CRZ notifications.

“CAA Act provides for prohibiting such activities without registration to the extent permissible. Thus, no unregistered activity can continue. Prohibited activity under section 13(8) can also not continue. Even permitted activities, apart from registration require compliance of environmental norms under other statutes,” the Bench said.


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