Green reports for Kaleshwaram project in final stages

The Irrigation Department is gearing up to conduct a public hearing in Karimnagar district on August 26 as part of the process for environmental clearance to Kaleshwaram project along with preparation of environmental impact assessment (EIA) and environmental management plan (EMP).

Terms of reference for processing the environmental clearance were issued to the project on March 3 this year by the expert appraisal committee of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change with a direction to the project proponent, the Irrigation Department of Telangana, to submit in-principle clearance from the Central Water Commission along with EIA and EMP reports.

“Work on preparing the EIA and EMP reports for environmental clearance is in the advanced stage and holding a public hearing is part of the process. Apart from the information required as per the MoEF format, the EIA report will highlight the positive impact on the ecology with reliving the Godavari river course for about 115 km from Medigadda barrage to Yellampally barrage,” officials sources involved in the process told The Hindu.

Besides, the State government would soon be issuing orders providing fishing rights to the people to be displaced by the reservoirs that have been planned as part of the project, the senior officials said. Since stage-one forest clearance has already been given, the forest department would be paid net present value for the forest land to be taken over for the project along with allocation of land for compensatory afforestation.

Stating that the EMP would highlight the fact that most of the submergence in case of the three barrages – Medigadda, Annaram and Sundilla – would be within the river banks, the official sources noted that it would also speak about recycling and reuse of material like rock and gravel for the purpose of construction. Total land required for the project is about 32,000 hectares including 2,866 of forest land. Of this, 302 ha is in Maharashtra and about 13,706 ha would be under submergence.

Drinking water

The Irrigation Department is also planning to highlight the fact that the project would supplement 40 TMC ft water for drinking needs – 30 TMC ft to Hyderabad and 10 TMC ft to population en route – and underlining that separate infrastructure couldn't be created for drinking needs alone. “Assurance would also be given that irrigation component of the project would not be brought into use until getting due clearances,” the sources explained.

“If everything goes well, the project should be getting environmental clearance in the next two-three months for giving a final push to the project works,” the senior official hoped.

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Printable version | Feb 27, 2021 10:18:08 PM |

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