APPCB raps Godavari Mega Aqua a prawn processing industry; imposes fine of Rs 29 lakh

Visakhapatnam: Complying with the National Green Tribunal (NGT) order, Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board (APPCB) fined Rs 29.6 lakh on Godavari Mega Aqua Food Park Private Ltd located in West Godavari for damaging the environment. The fine was levied under section 33 (A) of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Amendment Act, 1988.

Based on a complaint filed by AVVS Subrahmanyam of Bhimavaram Mandal against the company, which is engaged in fish/ prawn processing, NGT directed Central PCB and APPCB to inspect the area jointly and to file a report.

A Joint Inspection Committee comprising T Rajendra Reddy, Joint Chief Environmental Engineer, APPCB and Mahima T, Senior Environmental Engineer, CPCB inspected the area on September 9 and communicated the report to the apex green court on September 23.

NGT directed APPCB to consider the observations and recommendations made by the committee regarding the shortcomings. The Tribunal also urged the Board to take appropriate action after giving an opportunity to the project proponent. Accordingly, the Board issued a notice to the industry directing to submit the information/action taken report/time-bound action plan on the recommendations and suggestions made in the report by October 10.

The Board, as per the recommendations of the joint inspection report and directions of NGT, levied an environmental compensation of Rs 29.6 lakh from the industry for violation of consent conditions. They also scheduled a hearing on October 17 to allow the industry to seek any clarification regarding the levy of environmental compensation.

However, the industry requested the Board to withdraw the fine submitting that they have not caused any environmental damage except discharging wastewater in quantities more than the consented amount, which was represented to the Board several times.

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