VIJAYAWADA: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) to submit a report on the alleged non-compliance with environmental norms in various river interlinking projects such as Pattiseema, Purushottapatnam, Chintalapudi and Godavari-Penna in Andhra Pradesh.
The bench gave the direction after hearing the arguments pertaining to the petition moved by former minister Vatti Vasanth Kumar and member of Water Users Association K Trinath Reddy contending that the State government did not obtain mandatory clearances from the Central Water Commission and MoEF for the said projects.
The NGT’s four-membered Principal Bench, headed by justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, on Tuesday directed the MoEF to look into the issue and submit a report on whether or not the projects adhering to the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) notification, and if they require the environment clearances. The bench posted the matter to February 22.
The tribunal also directed the petitioners to write a letter to MoEF and AP Pollution Control Board regarding their grievances.It said that the authorities concerned have to take a decision on the grievances raised within a week of receiving the complaint. Speaking to TNIE, Vatti Vasanth Kumar said that the petitioners were yet to receive the NGT’s order. “We were directed by the NGT to write our grievances to the MOEF and the APPCB. Once we get the order, we will do accordingly,” he noted.
It may be recalled that the petitioners moved the National Green Tribunal in December last year challenging the AP government’s proposals to integrate rivers Krishna, Godavari and Penna through various lift irrigation schemes.In their petition, they contended that the lift irrigation schemes were causing severe loss to over 10 lakh farmers in Godavari delta, besides resulting in environmental degradation.