Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding coastal pollution on Marina beach, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, 08/09/2020

  • 08/09/2020

Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of In Re: Instagram BBC News with regard to Coastal Pollution on Marina Beach, Chennai dated 08/09/2020.

A report was submitted by a Joint Committee of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Municipal Corporation, Chennai and the Tamil Nadu State Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) on the matter of huge collection of foam at Marina Beach, Chennai.

Reasons for frothing of the sea: 

  • According to the report, due to heavy rain, flow of the river was increased, which caused disturbance of bottom settled debris and sludge leading to froth formation due to high mixing/turbulence.
  • Another reason for the frothing of sea occurrence could be the sediments (containing organic matter) from the desilting of Adyar river. The desilting done by the Chennai River Restoration Trust (CRRT) could have reached sea.
  • Analysis report showed variation in the water quality on the day of froth formation and normal day, which indicates mixing of rain water and sewage. There was chance of bypassing of untreated/partially treated sewage from Common Sewage Treatment Plants (CSTPs) of capacity 23 MLD, 54 MLD extension 1 and 40 MLD extension — 2 located at Nesapakkam operated by Chennai Metro Water Supply & Sewerage Board (CMWSSB) into river Adyar during the rainfall before the date of sea foam occurrence.

The report said that TNPCB would monitor the CSTPs at Nesapakkam so as to avoid recurrence of sea foam at the confluence point of River Adyar. Moreover, the flow meters installed at CSTPs would be connected to TNPCB online monitoring system for effective monitoring.

Chennai River Restoration Trust (CRRT) was reviewing the performance of the works carried out by the CRRT regularly. The action plan of the CRRT involves abatement of pollution, eviction of encroachments, plugging of sewer in-falls providing interceptors and diversion arrangements, modular sewage treatment plants, widening and deepening of waterways.

Taking into consideration the joint committee report, the NGT directed the TNPCB to strictly monitor the sources of pollution, including the illegal release of sewage or other effluents from STP/CETP in coordination with concerned authorities.