Staff Reporter

Participants only ask for extension of the project and water for more areas

440 hectares of forestland required for the project works in Anantapur districtInterested sections either seek higher compensation or project water for more areas None speaks on the environmental aspect

ANANTAPUR: A public hearing conducted here on Monday to receive objections and suggestions on the impact of works pertaining to Handri-Neeva project on the environmental aspects in the district was reduced to a mere formality due to poor participation of the sections concerned.

Speaking at the meeting, Collector Y.V. Anuradha stated that notification on the environmental objections pertaining to Handri-Neeva project was issued to elicit the public opinion before giving a clearance.

There was not much forest cover and wild life in the district and the clearance would come without any hassle.

Only 440 hectares of forestland, which did not have much vegetation, was required for the project works in the district.

The reservoirs to be constructed under the project also required small amount of land and the area of submergence was also very little, the Collector explained.

Many seats unoccupied

All the participants, including Hindupur legislator P. Ranganayakulu, only demanded extension of the project and water for more areas. The seating arranged for VIPs and politicians, including the elected representatives, was seen vacant all through, as their participation was minimal.

A handful of public and a few other interested sections either demanded higher compensation for their lands acquired for the project works or the project water for more areas in the district. But, nobody spoke on the environmental aspect for which the meeting was convened.

The hearing was conducted by the regional office of the Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board.