Environment ministry to file affidavit in a week on Rayalaseema lift scheme

Deccan Chronicle.  | dc correspondent

Nation, Politics

NGT Chennai bench hearing the Rayalaseema Lift Scheme case also considered the report submitted by a three-member team of KRMB

Srisailam Project. (Photo:DC)

KURNOOL: The Union ministry of environment and forests has sought a week’s time to file its affidavit before the National  Green Tribunal on the Rayalaseema lift scheme.

It has informed NGT that the AP government has approached the Centre for environmental clearances (EC) for the project. The matter was posted for hearing on September 8.

NGT Chennai bench hearing the Rayalaseema Lift Scheme case also considered the report submitted by a three-member team of KRMB, which cited glaring violations on the part of the AP government in fast-tracking the project.

The Advocate for Applicant submitted that violations have been confirmed by KRMB and hence contempt action may be initiated against the AP officials. The case has been adjourned to September 8 for consideration of the MoEF stand and passing order on contempt proceedings filed by Gavinolla Srinivas and State of Telangana against AP chief secretary.

Meanwhile, raising objections to the Palamur-Rangareddy Lift Irrigation Scheme (PR LIS), the AP government filed an implead petition before the National Green Tribunal (NGT) Chennai, on Friday, which stated that the scheme is in violation of environmental norms and it needed to seek permissions as a "fresh project" from KRMB, and the central water commission.

The PR LIS which was designed purely to be a drinking water scheme by lifting 90tmc of water from the Srisailam reservoir, got away with strict compliances under the environmental act. Now that the project scope has changed to 'irrigation scheme', which is intended to irrigate 4,97,976 hectares or 12.3 lakhs acres, the PR LIS needs to be treated as a new project and must be subject to the rigor of all environmental assessments, the petition pleaded.

The implead-petition filed before NGT, State of Andhra Pradesh Vs Kosgi Venkataiah, argued that the various commissions and omissions of TS are causing adverse impacts on the environment within Telangana. The petition states that the original applicant primarily raised objection only with regard to the limited aspect of the alleged and apparent activity of the project; and that the nature of violations of the Palamur Rangareddy lift irrigation scheme are not limited to the activity pointed out by the original applicant.

It further said that the projects requiring prior environment clearance are subject to scrutiny comprising four stages and the TS has adopted different strategies to evade such by making prevaricating representations to the jurisdictional tribunals.

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