Mangaluru, Aug 04, 2015: An order dated July 28, from the National Green Tribunal has directed the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board to take steps to close down 14 fish mills and the effluent-treatment plant operating in Ullal.
The tribunal, comprising expert member P.S. Rao and judicial member M. Chocokalingam, has taken note of the fact that the fish mill units have failed to file their replies to the petition questioning their functioning in the area. The tribunal has directed the KSPCB to take action to close down the fish mills and submit report of action taken by August 25. The order was passed on the application filed by Ullal resident Mohammed Kabir. In his petition, Kabir had brought to the notice of the tribunal, the pollution caused by the 14 fish mills. He also brought to the tribunal’s notice the non-functioning effluent treatment plant set up by the fish mills. Kabir had questioned operation of such fish mills in the sensitive Costal Regulatory Zone-1.
While naming Union Ministry of Environment and Forests as the first respondent, Kabir has mentioned the Principal Secretary of the Department of Environment and Forest, the Principal Secretary of Department of Ports and Inland Water Transport and the Member Secretary of KSPCB as respondents 2, 3 and 4.
None of the respondents, including the 14 fish mill operators named as respondents 9 to 24, submitted their replies to the petition before the tribunal. The tribunal observed, that non-filing of the reply all along the period despite number of adjournments, would be indicative of recalcitrant attitude on the part of respondents 1 to 5 and 8. The tribunal said a cost of Rs. 1 lakh each will be charged to each respondent if they fail to submit their replies by August 25.