UNION OF INDIA
Citation: (1997) 2 SCC 87: AIR 1997 SC 811
Bench: Kuldip Singh, S. Saghir Ahmad.
No. of Judges: 2
- PIL u/A 32
- Provisions of the EPA, 1986
- Provisions of CRZ Notification1991
- Provisions of the Water Act, 1974
- The petitioner through the present PIL has sought the enforcement of CRZ Notification, 1991 for prohibiting the intensive and semi-intensive type of prawn farming in the ecologically fragile coastal areas and constitution of a National Coastal Management Authority for safeguarding the marine life and coastal areas.
- Due to the commercial aquaculture farming there is a considerable degradation of the mangrove ecosystems, pollution of potable waters, and reduction in fish catch. The groundwater has become contaminated sue to seepage of impounded water from the aquaculture farms.
- The court observed that most of the coastal land recently converted into shrimp farms was previously used for food crops and traditional fishing.
- Further, the expansion of the modern Shrimp ponds in the coastal area has meant that the local fishermen could reach the beach only after trespassing these Shrimp farms or by taking a long detour.
Whether intensive and semi-intensive type of prawn farming in the ecologically fragile coastal areas be allowed.
- The court observed that sea coasts and beached are the gift on nature to the mankind. The aesthetic qualities and the recreational utility of the said area have to be maintained.
- The court ordered the following:
- No part of the agricultural land and the salt farms could be converted into Aquaculture farms;
- An authority shall be constituted under the Central Government under Sec 8(3) of the EPA, 1986;
- No shrimp culture ponds can be constructed in the coastal areas;
- Aquaculture industries functioning at present within 1km radius of the Chilika Lake must compensate the affected persons;
- Aquaculture functioning outside the CRZ should obtain prior permission and clearance from the authority within the prescribed time limit failing which they must stop their operations.