‘Environmental clearance for Gouravelli lapsed in 2008’

The panchayat office of Gudatipally village under Gouravelli reservoir in Siddipet district.   | Photo Credit: Mohd Arif

The Joint Committee constituted by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) found that the construction of Gouravelli reservoir in Akkannapet mandal of Siddipet district was not commenced till 2017 and validity of environmental clearance lapsed in 2008, which was issued in 2003

Responding to the petitions filed by oustees – Baddam Raji Reddy and others, the NGT constituted a three-member Joint Committee consisting of E. Arockia Lenin, Senior Scientist, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), P. S. Kautilya, member, Godavari River Management Board (GRBM) and M. Ramesh Kumar, Director, Central Water Commission, Krishna Godavari Bain Organisation (KGBO). The committee submitted its report on September 29.

“In case of Gouravelli reservoir, construction work has not been started till 2017, according to Google Earth images. The project proponent would have obtained renewal/fresh environmental clearance from MoEF&CC as per condition number 8 of environmental clearance letter granted to this project stating that Environment Clearance was valid for five years from the date of issue of this letter for commencement of construction work. Joint Committee opined that though the project proponent has obtained environment clearance for flood flow canal project, amendment from MoFE&CC would have been obtained in both cases as scope of project changes. Therefore changing the scope of project without approval of MoEF&CC attracts violation of EIA notification,” observed the committee.

“The Joint Committee opined that non-compliance of environmental clearance conditions may lead to environmental damage. Proponent did not submit any six- monthly compliance report to Ministry since grant of Environmental Clearance letter. Compliance of specific conditions of environmental clearance issued to project authority has not been complied so far. Dumping of overburden and stabilisation are not carried out properly. It has been found that no fresh environmental impact assessment study has been done by the project proponent for the expanded project,” observed the Committee adding that due to enhancement of capacity, the area of submergence will increase from 769.25 hectares to 1566.89 hectares with an increase in the partially submerged villages to six from two and number of project displaced families increase to 1,104 from 937.

The Joint Committee has calculated the environmental compensation as Rs. 2,05,31,250 based on the formula of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

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Printable version | Jan 17, 2022 12:45:54 PM |

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