NGT directs Andhra Pradesh government to pay Rs 5 cr for damage to mangroves

Mangroves in Kakinada

Mangroves in Kakinada


  • The government is directed not to use the land for other purposes
  • Environmentalist filed petition appealing protection of mangroves and ecosystem

Kakinada: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the State government to pay an interim compensation of Rs 5 crore for the damage caused to the mangroves in 18 acres in East Godavari district.

Environmentalist Bollisetty Satyanarayana filed a petition before NGT Southern region at Chennai, appealing to protect the mangroves and ecosystem.

He filed a writ petition stating that destruction of mangroves in Dummulapeta and Parlopeta in Kakinada district (then East Godavari district) was in violation of Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification, 2011 and 2019, where this area has been classified as CRZ-1 and CRZ-1A respectively.

The NGT directed the State government that no attempt must be made by the authorities to convert the land use, which is likely to affect the existence of mangroves and its protection so as to develop that area for other development purpose, which in fact is prohibited under the CRZ Notification, 2011 and 2019 considering the impact and role played by mangroves in protection of environment apart from providing indirect and direct benefits to the society and mankind.

The then East Godavari District Collector in 2020 has chosen 120 acres of land filled with mangroves and mudflats for housing scheme (Pedalandiriki Illu - Navaratnalu) to distribute house pattas to poor.

Meanwhile, some environmentalists raised objections for cutting off mangroves and levelling the ground for the housing scheme. 'The Hans India' also highlighted the issue to protect ecosystem.

They submitted representations to the District Collector and district forest officials to stop the project and protect mangroves, but of no use. Environmentalist B Satyanarayana filed a petition before NGT, appealing to protect the mangroves and ecosystem.

After getting reports from

the committee, constituted by it, the NGT has directed the State government to pay Rs 5 crore for the damage it caused to mangroves in 18 acres.

In order to assess the environmental compensation, the NGT appointed a committee with members from NCZMA, SCZMA, MS Swaminathan Research Foundation, East Godavari Estuarine Ecosystem Foundation, Salim

Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History and National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management each.

The committee will submit a report within six months and the government has to pay the additional compensation within six months. The NGT also directed the government to pay compensation within three months for restoration of damaged mangroves area and maintaining the same and ensuring its survival rate not less than 85.

The committee is also directed to prepare a plan for the entire 58 acres, where the forest cover was found including the mangrove forest for conversion into a mangrove forest. They may also suggest the methodology by which it can be converted into a full-fledged mangrove forest to improve coastal environment in that area. If such methodology is suggested, then the same is also directed to be carried out by the State government in its letter and spirit.

The committee as well as the SCZMA and the Chief Secretary to State government are directed to file periodical reports regarding the compliance of directions and submissions of the report once in six months till the entire recommendations are complied with by the respective departments to be suggested by the committee constituted by the Tribunal.

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