In a move that will come as a huge relief to the Telangana government, the Hyderabad High Court set aside a stay order on Tuesday that was issued by the National Green Tribunal (NGT), on the construction of the Palamuru Ranga Reddy Lift Irrigation Scheme (PRLIS).
The state had moved the HC after the Chennai Bench of the NGT had directed the government to not go ahead with the first phase of the scheme on December 13.
The NGT had criticised the state for starting construction, even though it had not obtained the necessary environmental clearances.
Hyderabad resident B Harshavardhan had approached the NGT, which in turn stayed the work, and sought a counter by January 17.
However, Telangana argued that the stay order was issued without the state's version even being heard.
The state also argued that it was only constructing the initial part of the project to meet the drinking water needs of three districts, and it did not require environmental clearances for the same.
The state also said that the government was losing Rs 10 crore for each day due to the stay order, as it had to pay the contractors on account of stoppage of the work.
The bench told the Telangana government that it could go ahead with the drinking water part of the project, but would still need to obtain the necessary clearances for the irrigation part of the project.
It also asked the state to appear before the NGT on January 17.