NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court today slapped a cost of Rs 25,000 on the Centre for not filing its response on a plea filed by Odisha government in a matter pertaining to Indira Sagar Polavaram Project on river Godavari in Andhra Pradesh.
The apex court imposed the cost while expressing dissatisfaction at the Centre's failure to file the reply and asked it to pay the fine and respond within two weeks to the plea seeking certain amendments in the original suit.
A bench comprising Justices M B Lokur and Deepak Gupta agreed to another plea by Odisha and impleaded Telangana and Chhattisgarh as parties in the case.
The Polavaram project on river Godavari in Andhra Pradesh is a multi-purpose irrigation project which has been accorded the status of a national project.
The project is under construction in West Godavari District and East Godavari District of Andhra Pradesh and its reservoir spreads to parts of Chhattisgarh and Odisha.
The apex court had earlier sought the Centre's response on another plea alleging violation of rights of Scheduled Tribes (STs) and forest dwellers due to the Polavaram Project.
The petition has claimed that the project will submerge about 600 habitations in Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Telangana and also submerge about 8000 acres of forest and 500 acres of the wild life sanctuary.
The environment clearance of the project was cancelled by the National Environment Appellate Authority in 2007 but the Andhra Pradesh High Court had stayed it as an interim measure.
The Ministry of Environment and Forest had given a direction to stop the construction work of the project on February 8, 2011, but had later kept its own order in abeyance.