Special Correspondent

State should read the NEAA verdict

It should honour the judgement

HYDERABAD: TRS president K. Chandrasekhar Rao has urged the State Government not to appeal against the cancellation of environmental clearance for Polavaram project by standing on prestige.

The Government should read the ‘slap on the face’ verdict given by the National Environmental Appellate Authority (NEAA) and drop plans to appeal against it.

Only then, it would honour the judgement and views of irrigation experts which were ranged against the project, Mr. Rao stated a news conference here on Tuesday.

He said the TRS would file caveat in the High Court and Supreme Court to pre-empt the Government from obtaining any ex-parte stay orders. It would also implead in the case pertaining to the project pending before the apex court.

The NEAA would be petitioned to pass a similar order in the case of Pulichintala project also.

Mr. Rao added that the NEAA’s verdict confirmed fears of TRS and irrigation experts that the environmental clearance for Polavaram secured by the State Government from the Ministry of Environment and Forest was `illegal’. The TRS was of the view that the rich flora and fauna in Papikondalu should not be disturbed to pave way for the project. Moreover, the project would displace a huge tribal population following submergence of their lands.

The Government did not pay heed to advice against the project by several irrigation projects. It adopted bulldozing tactic as it took up the project. The NEAA order was a result of the arrogance displayed by Government.

Mr. Rao warned that work on the project would not be allowed to continue at any cost.

BJP for white paper

Meanwhile, State BJP president Bandaru Dattatreya on Tuesday demanded the Government to publish a white paper on the money spent for constructing the project. He wanted the Government to hold a review meeting on the doubts raised by various tribal and social organisations with regard to the progress of the works, land acquisition and rehabilitation measures.

He said quashing by the NEAA of the clearance given to the project had exposed the true colours of the Government. Major Irrigation Minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah’s statement that a petition would be filed in the High Court shows his lack of understanding, he said.