The National Green Tribunal has formed a committee and sought an action taken report on a plea against the execution of Polavaram Irrigation Project without requisite fresh environmental clearance. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice AK Goel constituted a committee comprising officials from the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), Ministry of Jal Shakti, state pollution control board and the project proponent.
"The committee will be at liberty to interact with stakeholders concerned. MoEF will be the nodal agency for coordination and compliance. The report may be furnished within one month by e-mail," the bench said. The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by Pentapati Pulla Rao against the execution of the irrigation project, now renamed as Indira Sagar Polavaram Project, by the Polavaram Project Authority, Hyderabad, without requisite fresh environmental clearance (EC).
The plea filed through advocate Sravan Kumar further stated that the MoEF issued a stop work order but it has been kept in abeyance for more than 11 years. "This is resulting in continued violations of requirement of fresh EC before any substantial changes are effected in the original project for which EC was taken. The State of Andhra Pradesh has given various assurances from time to time but in breach of the same, execution of the project is continuing with serious adverse impact on environment," the plea said.
In another development, asserting that the Union government would bear all costs for the construction of Polavaram multi-purpose project, Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat on Friday said necessary action will be taken after the Andhra Pradesh government submits full details on the revised cost estimates.
Shekhawat, along with Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, inspected the Polavaram construction works and conducted a high-level review meeting on the progress of the project.