The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Monday directed all coastal states and Union Territories to take remedial action against dumping of sewage and waste in the sea.
The green panel stated that the remedial action by way of prosecution, recovery of compensation and stopping polluting activities needs to be taken with regard to marine pollution.
A bench of Chairman, Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, and Justice Sheo Kumar Singh passed the order on a petition filed by Lt Col Sarvadaman Singh Oberoi seeking direction to formulate an action plan to restore sea water quality along the Indian coastal areas.
Oberoi asserted that the discharge of untreated sewage and effluents in the sea is continuing on a large scale, which is resulting in marine coastline pollution.
After hearing the matter, the tribunal directed: "Let the State PCBs and PCCs of the states and UTs and Chief Secretaries of the concerned coastal States and UTs take further remedial action and furnish an action taken report to the CPCB."
The Central Pollution Control Board has been asked to file a consolidated report in the matter by September 21, the next date of hearing.
Oberoi, in his plea, asserted that over 80 percent of marine pollution is from land-based sources - industrial, agricultural, and urban. "Municipal sewage is the main source of pollution," the plea stated.
The applicant said that despite a direction that aquafarms which have area of five hectares and above should have Effluent Treatment System (ETS), discharge of untreated sewage and effluents is continuing in large scale in sea.
"Pollution of marine coastline is on gradual increase in the same way as 351 polluted river stretches in the country," it stated. Oberoi added that the National Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) was constituted on October 9 but the problem of marine pollution remains untackled.
In a report dated March 11, the CPCB had submitted that most of the generated sewage both treated or untreated sewage and industrial effluents are disposed of through 171 major drain outfalls in the coastal areas.