Reply to the Joint Committee report on illegal aquaculture and beach sand mining in East Godavari district, Andhra Pradesh, 09/06/2021

  • 09/06/2021

Reply to the Joint Committee Report on behalf of the Applicant in OA 91 OF 2020 (SZ) (Venkatapathi Raja Yenumula  Vs Union of India & Others). The matter is related to illegal aquaculture and beach sand mining in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh.

The NGT, July 1, 2021 had directed for the constitution of a 6 member joint committee to conduct inspections on the allegations raised by the applicant (Venkatapathi Raja Yenumula).

The applicant has raised objections to the report of the Joint Inspection Committee, some of which are the following:

1. The Joint Inspection Committee was not properly assisted by the local State government officials. That committee in their report stated that the officials of Andhra Pradesh have not furnished details regarding illegal sand mining and action on the illegal aqua ponds.

2. Even though the Joint Committee confirmed the illegal aqua pond on sea shore at Chintalamori where public park was occupied by pond mafia and conducting aqua culture from 2017-18 - the authorities have not fully destroyed the bunds of the illegal aqua ponds. This shows the connivance between the state government officials with the pond mafia. It is submitted that the ponds are continuing as on June 6, 2021 at Chintalamori sea shore. That illegal sand mining has been continuing in Antarvedi, Chintalamori and other places continue day and night.

3. Sand mounds are vanishing due to the illegal mechanical sand mining. But the authorities have not evolved effective mechanisms to control illegal sand mining. The Joint Inspection Committee has only referred to the need for an evolving monitoring mechanism. But it has not assessed the damage caused to the beaches and quantity of illegal sand mining. 

The applicant has requested the court to direct the Chief Secretary of Andhra Pradesh to make the district administration accountable for the implementation of the directions passed by the NGT in the present case as well as earlier judgments and ask the  Joint Inspection Committee to assess the damage caused to sand mounds in East Godavari district and its affects on coastal villages in the region.