NGT slams Odisha govt over shops on Puri beach

New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal has slammed Odisha government and the state pollution control board for permitting shops to operate on Puri beach.

“You have 1,000 shops on the beach and all of them generate waste. I have seen them myself. Why don’t you shift them? Tell us the logic in having them (shops) on the beach.

You cannot have them. Under what authority of law (is it allowed)?

“Your sewage work is not complete, STP plant is not operating. What is this going on? There is a duty towards people. You say nobody listens to the state pollution control board as if it is an unnecessary instrument of the state. Why can’t you beautify the beach so as to suit the human eye,” a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said.

The green panel directed Odisha government to hold meetings with the state pollution control board, municipal bodies, water and sewage board.

It also directed the district administration of Puri to take appropriate action against the commercial shops in accordance with law.

The matter is listed for next hearing on October 29.

The Tribunal was hearing a petition filed by environmental activist Subash Chandra Dutta, who had moved the green bench against mushrooming of encroachments and construction of commercial buildings on Puri beach in violation of Coastal Regulation Zone norms.