NGT closes proceedings against Mekedatu dam project

The view of the place where Karnataka government plans Mekedatu dam project. File.   | Photo Credit: Sudhakara Jain

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has closed proceedings against the Mekedatu dam project after finding merit in the Karnataka government’s submissions that requisite environmental clearances were pending consideration before the concerned statutory authorities.

The observations came when the green panel took suo motu cosgnisance of media reports on allegations of violations of environmental norms in the construction of the dam.

A Bench headed by the NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said, “We find merit in the submission of learned A-G (Attorney General) for the State of Karnataka that the media report does not mention that the issue of statutory environmental clearances is already pending consideration before the concerned statutory authorities. Even the very same media report has been mentioned by the State of Tamil Nadu in its submission before the Ministry of Jal Shakti...”

“Accordingly, proceedings before this Tribunal are closed without prejudice to rival contentions of the parties on the subject in proceedings pending before the concerned statutory authority and before the Supreme Court,” the Bench said, while observing that the State of Tamil Nadu had raised the issue before the Supreme Court.

The Karnataka government had contended that the media report had failed to disclose the fact that the process of obtaining necessary clearances was pending before authorities. All issues, including those of environmental, forest and wildlife clearances, were already a subject matter of consideration before the authorities, it had said.

The counsel appearing for the Tamil Nadu government however, opposed the stand and submitted that the environmental issue be examined by the Tribunal.

“Further, the same issue has also been raised by the State of Tamil Nadu before the Supreme Court. Thus there is no need for this Tribunal to continue the suo motu proceedings,” the NGT said.

The news report in question had stated that the construction of the dam would have adverse impact on forests and sanctuaries, and that there were no requisite clearances for the project.

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Printable version | Jul 24, 2021 5:50:50 PM |

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