HYDERABAD: The year 2018 saw only six projects from Telangana being granted the Environmental Clearance (EC) by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), of the 13 projects from the State seeking clearance. However, one project which got green nod includes Hyderabad Pharma City — the flagship project of the first version of
TRS-led Telangana government spread over 19,333 acres in Rangareddy district. However, there is still one more hurdle left for the project to clear, of getting forest clearance. The project requires clearance under the Forest (Conservation) Act and the government is yet to apply for it. Also, another ambitious project of Telangana government was recommended for Environmental Clearance by the Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) this year, the Sita Rama Lift Irrigation project to irrigate 2.72 lakh hectares area in Kothagudem and Mahbubabad districts. It was even accorded Stage-I approval by MoEF for diversion of 1,531 hectares of forest land as part of the process seeking forest clearance.
A private coal-based thermal power project of 200MW was proposed to be established at Mattampally in Nalgonda district by MG Power Projects Ltd, but the project had witnessed strong opposition from some locals when a public hearing was conducted on establishment of the power plant, as part of obtaining EC.
Two projects of the Singareni Collieries are also under process at the Ministry, one is expansion of 2X600MW coal-based thermal power plant to 3X600MW at Jaipur in Adilabad and for a new 2MTPA capacity opencast coal mine at Kistaram, in Khammam district. Many projects requiring EC from state-level authorities grounded
The year also saw many projects in the State being stalled due to lack of State Expert Appraisal Committee (SEAC) and State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA). Projects that fall under Category-B as per Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) notification, 2006 have to obtain EC from the SEIAA and do not have to apply to MoEF.
The three-year terms of SEIAA and SEAC came to an end in April, but the State government took its own sweet time to constitute the two committees and forward their names to the Central government. As a result, more than 300 projects requiring clearances from these committees are still waiting to take off. In the span of about four months the committees were in existence, around 250 projects were granted environmental clearance.
30 crore saplings planted this year
The State’s afforestation scheme, Telangana ku Haritha Haram received a boost in some districts due to good monsoon rains and was a complete failure in districts with poor rains. Out of the target of 40 crore saplings, around 30 crore saplings have been planted in the State this year. Each district was given a target number of saplings to be planted. Of 31 districts in the State, while five districts could not even achieve 50 per cent of their target, five more districts achieved just between 50-70 per cent of the set target.
KBR park: Revised ESZ released
This year the Ministry of Environment and Forests also released the revised draft notification on Eco Sensitive Zone of KBR National Park in Hyderabad, narrowing walkway around the park from present width of 25-35metres to 3-29.8metres, inviting protests from citizens and environmentalists from the City.