Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding discolouration of seawater near Surathkal beach in Dakshina Kannada district, Karnataka, 18/11/2022

  • 18/11/2022

Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of In re : News item published in the Newspaper named, DHNS, Mangaluru dated: 15th May, 2022, titled “Officials term discolouring of water in beaches as algal bloom” dated 18/11/2022.

Proceedings have been initiated in the matter in the light of media report of violation damage to the environment as shown by discoloration of seawater near Surathkal beach in Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka. Media report also mentions that discoloration of seawater adversely affects the Sea bass fish. Part of cage farming in Phalguni river in Tannirbhavi and Bangrakulur areas were found to be dead, raising concern among fishermen and environmentalists. Tarballs were formed out of oil waste dumped by ships mid-sea.

The Joint Committee report filed, October 3, 2022 stated that the water quality was found polluted on account discharge of untreated sewage into the sea by Mangaluru City Corporation, apart from industrial pollution along the coast of Mangaluru.

The committee was of the opinion that discoloring of sea water on May 14, 2022 at the beach near Surathkal is due to algal bloom.

The National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) report has raised concern over iron concentrations inducing algal bloom and there is iron pelletization unit along the coast of Mangalore.

The committee recommended that the Mangalore city Corporation has to take up the work of underground drainage and connection of missing links to terminal sewage treatment plant (STP) so as to "ensure that there is no possible entry of untreated sewage/sullage into the sea from non-point sources across the jurisdiction." However, there is no presence of oil and grease in the sea water.

The NGT directed that the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board need to fix accountability of the violators - the concerned industries and the Municipal Corporation. The SPCB has been directed to take further action in the matter and finalize the same within two months following due process of law.