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30% mangrove area destroyed: NGT Panel

Though the East Godavari district administration informed that it had initiated the process of changing the CRZ category of the area from CRZ-IA to CRZ-II, counsel 

Published: 19th March 2021 08:09 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th March 2021 08:09 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

VISAKHAPATNAM: The joint expert committee constituted by the Southern Bench of National Green Tribunal (NGT) to study the destruction of mangrove forest in divisions 10 and 12 at Dummulapeta and Parlaraopeta in Kakinada for the Pedalandariki Illu scheme, in its report submitted to the NGT, has stated that 30 per cent of the area having mangroves has been destroyed. 

The committee found that works were taken up in 58 out of the total 116 acres meant for the housing project and the texture of the mud in the area changed due to additional soil and gravel brought from outside for levelling the ground. The ground levelling obstructed the flow of the stream in the area. Though the East Godavari district administration informed that it had initiated the process of changing the CRZ category of the area from CRZ-IA to CRZ-II, counsel 

Sanjay Upadhyay, arguing on behalf of Satyanarayana, an environmentalist who filed a petition in the NGT, said there is no process known to law which can convert a natural categorisation to another category such as CRZ-II under the CRZ notification. 

The tribunal had earlier asked the committee to examine the destruction with the help of satellite images. The committee found that destruction had occurred in the green cover. “The temporal map of 2017 and 2019 clearly revealed green patches, which have now been destroyed,’’ the committee stated and it also noted that no CRZ clearance has been obtained till date in this regard.

The petitioner has sought time to make certain observations on the committee report, which has now categorically stated that the district administration should not proceed with the construction till the necessary permissions are obtained. The committee has also recommended that plantation of mangroves be carried out by the district administration adjacent to the Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary as a compensatory measure.

Speaking to TNIE, Satyanarayana said the report vindicated his averments, which the State had denied. The committee was formed by the NGT following a petition filed by Satyanarayana to ascertain violation of CRZ norms in removal of mangroves in the area for the proposed housing project. The committee inspected the site, which is 2.93 km away from Coringa bird sanctuary, on December 10, 2020 and submitted its report.

It includes scientist of MoEF C Paladi, research officer KG Prijilal, EG Collector D Muralidhar Reddy, Conservator of Forest N Nageswara Rao, District Forest Officer B Sunil Kumar Reddy and environmental engineer of APCZMA A Rama Rao Naidu.



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