Tamil Nadu

National Green Tribunal stays Rayalaseema Lift Irrigation Scheme

The Bench has directed Andhra Pradesh not to proceed with the scheme until a joint committee appointed by it could submit a report on any environmental or social impact the scheme could have

The southern bench of the National Green Tribunal has directed Andhra Pradesh not to proceed with the Rayalaseema Lift Scheme and appointed a joint committee to submit a report on whether the project will have any environment impact regarding the availability of the source of water, and whether it will have any social impact on the members of the sharing States. The committee has been directed to submit a report within two months.

The order came on an application filed against the implementation of the scheme. The applicant sought a stay on the project claiming that the action of the State of Andhra Pradesh by initiating the project without obtaining prior Environmental Clearance (EC) was illegal and against the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, and Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974.

The applicant also sought a detailed study to look into the adverse effects on Krishna river, the flora, fauna and the livelihood of people in Telengana and downstream of the Srisailam project due to the Rayalseema Lift Scheme initiated by Andhra Pradesh.

The bench of Judicial member K. Ramakrishnan and expert member Saibal Dasgupta noted that the main question was whether the project requires prior environmental clearance or not. Observing that in a similar matter, the Principal Bench of the NGT had constituted an expert committee to look into the provision, the bench said it has not been mentioned in this application the purpose for which the Scheme was launched by Andhra Pradesh, adding that only the State government or its agency can provide the details.

“However, considering the fact that it is in the initial stages, we feel it appropriate to direct the State of Andhra Pradesh not to proceed with the scheme till we get the report from the joint committee appointed by this Tribunal for this purpose and further orders passed by this tribunal in this matter,” the bench said.

It also appointed a joint committee to ascertain whether prior EC is required, other prior clearances or permissions to be obtained, whether such permissions have been obtained by Andhra Pradesh among others.

“The committee shall also consider the question as to whether the proposed exploitation of natural resources namely, water by this project, will have any environment impact regarding the availability of the source of water and whether it will have any social impact on the members of the sharing States and submit a report to this tribunal within a period of two months,” the bench ordered.

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Printable version | Jun 1, 2020 6:48:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/national-green-tribunal-stays-rayalaseema-lift-irrigation-scheme/article31649518.ece

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