National Green Tribunal stays Palamuru Phase-I

Ministry of environment is mandatory for projects that pass through reserve forest areas.

Hyderabad: In a setback to the state government, the National Green Tribunal of Southern Zone at Chennai has stayed the Telangana state government and the principal secretary, irrigation department, from proceeding any further with the first phase of the Palamuru Ranga Reddy Lift Irrigation Scheme (PRLIS), till January 17, 2017.

The bench headed by Justice M.S. Nambiar granted the interim order while dealing with a petition by B. Harshvardhan, a city resident, challenging the action of the government in going ahead with the first phase of the project between Anjanagiri and Narlapur villages in Mahbubnagar district without the required environmental clearances.

Counsels for the petitioner, B. Rachana Reddy and Siddharth Nayak, submitted that the government has not obtained clearances from the forests and environment department and has cleared about 279 hectares of forest land.

Land can’t be used for non-forest project
Counsels for the petitioner further submitted that contended that clearances under the Environment Impact Assessment Notification, 2006, Section 2 of the Forest (Conservation) Act, and the Office Memorandum dated December 9, 2009 of the ministry of environment is mandatory for projects that pass through reserve forest areas.

They submitted that the lift irrigation scheme also involves construction in the Rajiv Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary (formerly Nagarjunsagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve) which is home to significant tiger and leopard populations. The construction work will have an adverse impact on the reserve in the Nallamala forest area.

They submitted that Section 2 of the Forest (Conservation) Act, states that land cannot be used for non-forest purpose without prior permission from the Centre. While granting the interim stay, the tribunal adjourned the hearing to January 17, 2017. The purpose of the PRLIS is to irrigate upland areas of Mahbubnagar, Ranga Reddy and Nalgonda districts, bring drinking water to villages en route and to Hyderabad city.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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