Hyderabad: The National Green Tribunal (NGT), Southern Bench in Chennai, making changes to its earlier interim order it gave on May 20 this year barring Andhra Pradesh government from proceeding on Pothireddypadu Lift Irrigation project, has said that the interim order will not prevent the State from preparing the Detalied Project Report (DPR) and calling for tenders for that purpose. However, the order made it clear that the actual execution of the work on ground can be done only after getting further orders from the Tribunal.
The NGT, which heard the case filed by social activist Gavinolla Srinivas from Telangana on Monday via video conference, further directed the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests and Climate Change to submit its views. “They will have to give their opinion whether this project requires prior Environment Clearance before starting the work and whether the project can be allowed to start on ground before adjudication of the case and dispose of the case in accordance with law. Except this modification, we don’t propose any modification at this stage,” the NGT said.
The NGT bench comprising Justice K Ramakrishnan and Expert Member Saibal Dasgupta said the tribunal had in its earlier order directed Andhra Pradesh not to proceed with the scheme till the Tribunal gets the report from the joint committee appointed by it for this purpose. Accordingly the Tribunal appointed a joint committee, comprising of the Expert Appraisal committee of Ministry of Environment Forest on irrigation project , Central Pollution Control Board ,regional office Bangalore, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Hyderabad and a senior officer from Krishna River Management Board to examine the scheme and submit a report.
On Monday, the AP counsel argued that the there was no need to obtain any prior environment clearance for the purpose of implementation of the scheme. The Counsel also submitted that AP is only at the state of launching of the scheme and the actual implementation will start after preparing necessary project report and calling for tenders. It was submitted that the Srisailam Irrigation Project had already been completed in the year 1984 and the scheme is intended only to regulate the smooth flow of water through the canals by making some alignment in the route without enhancing or deviating from the purpose of the earlier project or increasing extraction water than permitted.
AP has appealed that by virtue of the earlier NGT order, the State government has been completely prevented from proceeding with the preliminary stage of preparing the project and calling for tenders.
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