The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has restrained Andhra Pradesh authorities from going ahead with the plans to construct an international cricket stadium at the foothills of the Tirumala hills in Tirupati, stating that it could disturb the ecology of the area.
The foundation stone for the stadium was laid by Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy only on Wednesday amidst accusations from environment activists that the project will hurt the ecologically sensitive area. Some religious groups have also expressed their reservations against the project apart from the security concerns for the temple expressed in certain quarters.
Taking suo motu cognisance of a news report, the southern bench comprising Judicial Member Justice M Chockalingam and Expert Member Professor R Nagendran asked officials, including the Secretary of the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests, the Chief Secretary of Andhra Pradesh and the Executive Officer of the Tirumala Tirupati Devastanam, to appear before it in the next hearing on December 10. Also, the Member Secretary of the AP Pollution Control Board will have to videograph the area in which the stadium is proposed to be constructed and produce it to the tribunal in the next hearing.