NEW DELHI:The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has ordered a joint inspection of the Polavaram dam site by the Andhra Pradesh government, state pollution control board and the project authority, following a complaint about the large-scale dumping of mud in the West Godavari district in view of the construction.
NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar, however, disposed of a plea by activist P Pullarao seeking directions to the state government to stop mud dumping in villages along the district for the construction of the dam on the Godavari.
“In view of the course of action that we propose to adopt, in the facts and circumstances of the present case, we do not propose to issue notice to the respondents. It is not necessary for us to notice the facts of the case in any greater details or even to issue notice either,” said the order.
The Ministry of Environment and Forests last month issued an order allowing Andhra Pradesh to resume construction at the controversial dam site, saying permission had been granted on the condition that there would be no water flow in the dam till the dispute with Odisha and Chhattisgarh was settled.
The ministry put the stop-work order, issued in 2009, in abeyance for a year without informing Odisha and Chhattisgarh, where many villages are facing inundation because of the the dam. Andhra Pradesh has already spent Rs 10,000 crore on the project. According to the ministry, an area of 3,427.52 hectares of forest land will be inundated and around two lakh acres of land is likely to be submerged if the dam is built.
Conceived in the 1940s, the project is capable of irrigating over seven lakh acres of land in the state and produceing 960 MW of hydel energy. The project is estimated to cost Rs 20,000 crore.
However, Odisha, Telangana and Chhattisgarh have raised serious objections to the project.