Puri beach hotels violating human rights of tourists

Feb 15 2013, 14:24 IST
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Puri beach hotels violating human rights. (Reuters) Puri beach hotels violating human rights. (Reuters)
SummaryNHRC has recently issued a notice to Odisha Chief Secretary.

While the state government and Odisha Pollution Control Board have failed to hammer the hotels and restaurants along Puri sea beach for violating the norms of coastal regulation zone (CRZ), attempts are now being made to implicate these violators for impeding the Human Rights of lakhs of tourists visiting the sea beach. †

Terming the environment pollution in the beach as human rights (HR) violation, a Puri-based social organization had recently made an appeal to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on the contentious issue.

Seeking to impose heavy penalty on the erring hotels and restaurants, the India Media Center in its plea had urged the Commission to slap a minimum fine of Rs 20 lakh for violating the basic rights of the tourists visiting the beach.

Taking up the application filed by the managing trustee of India Media Center, the NHRC has recently issued a notice to Odisha Chief Secretary, asking him to brief the

Commission within six weeks about what action has been taken by the State government over the issue till date.

The petition to the NHRC claims that the hotels are discharging their effluents into the sea and polluting the area in complete defiance to the norms of CRZ, while the pollution control board and the governments (both State and Central) are silent spectators.

The petitioner further alleged that the local authorities have turned a blind eye on the unauthorized constructions in the area and over a decade, the Puri sea beach has turned into a dump yard.

Despite crying hoax alleging violation of CRZ norms, the state government, Odisha Pollution Control Board and even the Union environment ministry have failed to achieve much in Puri as over 300 unauthorized constructions here are now constantly ruining the beach with no letup, India Media Center counsel Nishikant Mishra said.

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