NGT set certain conditions while giving the green signal – including that embankments cannot be altered.

Construction of Andhras capital Amaravati to go ahead as NGT gives green nod
news Environment Friday, November 17, 2017 - 13:38

In a major decision, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Friday gave the green signal for construction activities in Andhra Pradesh’s upcoming capital Amaravati.

A case was filed by retired journalist and social activist from Vijayawada, Pandalaneni Srimannarayana in February, 2015, claiming that fertile land along the Krishna River was being destroyed for urbanization. The NGT had finished hearing all parties in the case in April this year and reserved its judgement.

On Friday, the Tribunal gave its green signal for the construction.

ANI reported that the NGT set certain restrictions, stating that a comprehensive study should be done and that the course of the Krishna River, or its micro ecology river course or micro ecology should not be altered.

It also said that embankments could not be altered, except in the case of strengthening flood control measures.

Dictating that sewage water treatment plants must be set up, the NGT asked for the appointment of two committees. One Supervisory Committee – which would meet once in three months, to bring in more regulations if required – and one Implementation Committee which would meet every month.

The NGT full bench of Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar, Justice Raghavendra S Rathore and Bikram Singh Sajwan pronounced the judgement, ToI reported.

Reacting to the judgement, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu took to Twitter, and said, “Elated over the National Green Tribunal giving a green signal for the construction of capital in Amaravati of the new Andhra. With this, the obstacles for the construction of the new capital have been removed. Let’s construct the new capital which every Telugu person will be proud of.”

Background

Srimannarayana approached the Supreme Court first but was directed to go to the NGT in 2015.

The case gathered momentum as retired bureaucrat EAS Sarma filed another petition in December that year, challenging the hurried grant of environmental clearances.

A group of farmers had also approached the NGT, challenging the pooling of fertile land.

During the hearing of the case, the NGT had also expressed its doubts, over the state's plans to elevate the 10,000-acre capital city on the banks of the River Krishna, to protect it from getting flooded.

The Andhra Pradesh government said that it had not violated any norms, and would actively work in protecting the green space in and around Amaravati.

"I'm not saying we do not need a capital. Andhra needs a capital, and deserves a good one. However, this particular plan is more like a real estate business deal at the cost of farmers. The area by the River Krishna is one of the most fertile lands in India as well as in the world. Up to 120 varieties of crop can be grown here and it gives three yields a year," Srimannarayana had told TNM during an earlier interview.

Despite multiple efforts, the petitioners could not be reached for comment.

With the NGT judgment, the way has been cleared for the Andhra Pradesh government to go ahead with constructing its capital.

Srimannarayana approached the Supreme Court first but was directed to go to the NGT in 2015.

The case gathered momentum as retired bureaucrat EAS Sarma filed another petition in December that year, challenging the hurried grant of environmental clearances.

A group of farmers had also approached the NGT, challenging the pooling of fertile land.

During the hearing of the case, the NGT had also expressed its doubts, over the state's plans to elevate the 10,000-acre capital city on the banks of the River Krishna, to protect it from getting flooded.

The Andhra Pradesh government said that it had not violated any norms, and would actively work in protecting the green space in and around Amaravati.

"I'm not saying we do not need a capital. Andhra needs a capital, and deserves a good one. However, this particular plan is more like a real estate business deal at the cost of farmers. The area by the River Krishna is one of the most fertile lands in India as well as in the world. Up to 120 varieties of crop can be grown here and it gives three yields a year," Srimannarayana had told TNM during an earlier interview.

Despite multiple efforts, the petitioners could not be reached for comment.

With the NGT judgment, the way has been cleared for the Andhra Pradesh government to go ahead with constructing its capital.

 

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