The environmental public hearing for the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the inter-State Chanakha-Korata barrage across Penganga river organised by the Telangana Pollution Control Board at Pippalkuti village in Tamsi mandal on Thursday was all but that. Only one of the eight villagers who spoke at the meeting broached environment subject, not about the barrage but about the proposed balancing reservoir in his village.
Though Joint Collector B. Sandhya Rani, who conducted the proceedings, clarified at the beginning of the meeting that it was dealing only with environmental aspects of Chanakha-Korata, all the villagers talked only about land acquisition and compensation besides jobs to unemployed youth in 14 villages to be affected by related development activity. While welcoming construction of the project, the latter were curious about the extent of land which will be acquired for the proposed balancing reservoir.
M. Chandrakant, the villager who talked about environmental impact of the barrage, specifically wanted to know what measures the authorities intended to take to protect the local wildlife which includes ungulates and the host of varieties of medicinal herbs and plants. Project Superintending Engineer Amjad Hussain only said the animals would be protected without specifying the methods.
The villager had also raised questions regarding water pollution and about lorries employed by the project creating noise and air pollution.
Mr. Hussain had enlisted the salient points of the barrage and its pump house at the beginning of the public hearing.
He was followed by the representative of the consultant agency who briefed the audience about the studies conducted on environmental impact of the project in the given area.
The public meeting saw people from most of the affected villages attending it. Among the officials who attended were Chief Engineer (Projects) K. Bhagwanth Rao, RDO Suryanarayana and Executive Engineer, Nizamabad Regional Office of TPCB, B. Bhikshapathi.