Mass fish death at Lingambudhi Lake: National Green Tribunal sets up Committee to probe, take action

Mass fish death at Lingambudhi Lake: National Green Tribunal sets up Committee to probe, take action

September 12, 2023

Mysore/Mysuru: The recent occurrence of mass fish deaths at Lingambudhi Lake in Srirampura, Mysuru, has drawn the attention of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), leading to the establishment of a Joint Committee.

This Committee includes the Member-Secretary of the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB), Member-Secretary of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Bengaluru and the Mysuru Deputy Commissioner.

The NGT initiated action in response to newspaper reports on the fish fatalities, exercising its suo motu powers on Sept. 1, 2023 and formally listing the case under the Environment Protection Act of 1986 on Sept.  5, 2023.

The case was heard by the NGT Principal Court, presided over by Justice Prakash Shrivastava, Justice Sudhir Agarwal and Dr. A. Senthil Vel.

Upon preliminary assessment, the Court noted that there had been rainfall on Aug. 27 in areas such as Vijayanagar, Dattagalli and Bogadi, which could have resulted in water inflow carrying pollutants and organic matter into the Lake. The decomposition and putrefaction of these materials likely caused a decrease in oxygen levels in the water, ultimately leading to the fish mortality. This incident clearly signifies a breach of environmental regulations and the provisions outlined in the relevant Act, the NGT said.

The NGT has formed a Joint Committee, consisting of the Member-Secretary of KSPCB, the Member-Secretary of CPCB in Bengaluru, and the District Magistrate of Mysuru. The Mysuru DC will act as the coordinating and compliance authority within this Committee.

The Committee’s responsibilities encompass visiting the site, collecting samples, obtaining any existing analysis reports from KSPCB and the State Fisheries Department, and determining the exact cause of the fish deaths. Furthermore, they will take appropriate action against any parties found in violation of the law and recommend remedial measures.

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The Committee is required to submit its comprehensive report to the Tribunal within six weeks. As this matter falls within the jurisdiction of the Southern Zone Bench of the Tribunal, it is transferred for further proceedings to be listed on Dec. 1, 2023. The Registry has been instructed to transmit the case records to the Southern Zone Bench in Chennai.  Additionally, a copy of this order will be sent to KSPCB, CPCB and the Deputy Commissioner of Mysuru via e-mail for compliance, the Court noted.


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