NGT seeks two reports on AP’s Krishna diversion plans

Asking AP not to proceed till further orders, the tribunal posts matter to Aug. 11

The Southern Zone Bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) that has directed Andhra Pradesh against proceeding further in its plans to implement new lift irrigation project — Rayalaseema Lift Scheme (RLS) — to draw water from Srisailam reservoir, one of the two common water storage facilities for AP and Telangana, has sought two reports from a joint committee appointed by it.

In its May 20 order, issued in a petition filed by one Gavinolla Srinivas of Narayanpet district, an area solely depending on Krishna water for drinking and irrigation needs, the court comprising judicial member Justice K. Ramakrishnan and expert member Saibal Dasgupta have appointed a joint committee comprising members of the Expert Appraisal Committee of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Bengaluru Regional Office of Central Pollution Control Board, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Hyderabad and a senior officer from Krishna River Management Board to examine RLS.

The joint committee has been asked to “examine whether all required clearances, permissions and recommendations have been obtained by AP for taking up RLS and also the purpose for which the project is intended and whether the precautions taken by AP are sufficient to protect the interests of Telangana and AP as the water available in Srisailam shared by the two States”. The NGT has asked the committee to submit its report in three months time.

Further, the NGT has asked the joint committee to consider the question as to whether the proposed exploitation of water would have any environmental impact regarding availability of water and whether it would have any social impact on the communities (people) depending on the source in the two States. The tribunal has asked the panel to submit a report on this aspect within two months.

The tribunal observed that since the purpose of the RLS was not mentioned in the application of the petitioner it was only the respective agency of AP could enlighten it on the aspect. It has directed AP “not to proceed with the scheme till we (tribunal) get the report from the joint committee appointed for the purpose and further orders are passed in the matter”.

Stating that CPCB Bengaluru Regional Office would act as the nodal agency for coordination and for providing necessary logistics for the purpose of examining the issue and submitting the two reports, the tribunal has posted the matter to August 11 for consideration of the reports.

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Printable version | May 28, 2020 9:59:12 PM |

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