Hyderabad: The ministry of environment and forests’ (MoEF) orders regarding the Polavaram project — to keep the ‘stop the work order’ in abeyance — lapsed a week ago. The ministry had issued the abeyance order earlier fr-om June 30, 2015, for a year regarding the stop work order issued previously.
This was issued initially on February 8, 2011 due to non compliance of the condition for an environment clearance, namely, conducting a public hearing in Chattisgarh and Odisha.
On April 8, 2013, MoEF kept the stop work order in abeyance for a period of six months, based on a representation from the AP government. Later, based on a letter written by AP Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu to the then environment minister Prakash Javadekar it has again taken a decision to keep the ‘stop work order’ in abeyance for a period of a year. The MoEF issued an order on June 23, 2015 for a year which lapsed in June 2016. The ministry then put a condition that AP would have to hold a public hearing in both Chhatt-isgarh and Odisha and not to impound the reservoir of the project till the issue raised by Chhattisgarh and Odisha were resolved and bring about changes in design based on the outcome of public hearings.
Responding to an RTI petition filed by Mr Sravan Kumar, the Polavaram Project Authority that came into existence in January 2015, replied, “There are no objections by Central Water Commi-ssioners with regard to project approval. The MoU between the AP government and the Polavaram project authority is still under process. The draft of the MoU is not yet final and is for consideration by the AP government. The progress of the project as per site visit in May 2016 showed that 33 per cent of earth work, 4 per cent embankment, 4 per cent of concrete for navigation tunnel and OT regulator and 30 per cent of gates for connectivity, was complete. Regarding right ma-in canal, 98 per cent of ea-rth work, 68 per cent of lining and 72 per cent structure had been done; in the left main canal, 82 per cent of earth work, 60 per cent of lining and 27 per cent of structure was over.”...