Odishatv Bureau

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Thursday imposed a fine of Rs 28 lakh on Kendrapara Municipality as environmental compensation for polluting Gobari river due to uncontrolled industrial discharged.

The NGT bench directed the Municipality to deposit the compensation amount with the Odisha State Pollution Control Board. The penalty was imposed following a complaint by Rabeya Tabbasum, a resident of the town, alleging contamination of the river due to discharged of untreated wastes. 

Imposing the penalty, the bench of Justice B Amit Sthalekar and Saibal Dasgupta said, “As far as the past violations are concerned, the committee in its inspection report has determined compensation from April 1, 2020 till March 31, 2022 to be Rs 28 lakh.” 

“We therefore direct the Kendrapara Municipality to deposit the amount with the Odisha State Pollution Control Board with one month and file an affidavit of compliance,” the bench specified. 

The committee recommended inspection in a scheduled manner and cleaning the Gobari river from time to time.  
Commenting on the issue, lawyer Nehru Kumar Sahu said, “There was a time when Gobari was the cleanest river. People even used the water for drinking purposes. But, due to repeated discharge of industrial and drain wastes, the river has been polluted. Now, the water is not fit for humans or aquatic animals. So, the Kendrapara Municipality has to pay the fine and take steps to clean the river.”

Environmentalist Biraja Prasad Pati said, “We have turned Gobari river into a drain. All the drain wastes are released into the river. Things will get worse, if we do not take steps immediately to clean it.”

“We have still not received any final report in this connection. We will write to all the industries and companies releasing wastes to the river. Steps are also being taken to stop the release of waste water to Gobari,” Sarita Sahoo, chairperson, Kendrapara Municipality.