VIJAYAWADA: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Tuesday directed the Andhra Pradesh government not to proceed with interlinking of Godavari-Krishna-Penna rivers and construction and operation of Pattiseema Lift Irrigation Scheme, Purushothapatnam Lift Irrigation Scheme and Chintalapudi Lift Irrigation Scheme, without the necessary environmental clearance.
The Principal Bench of NGT headed by Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, passed the order after considering the report submitted by the Joint Inspection Committee (JIC) constituted with officials from Central Pollution Control Board, Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board and Minister of Environment and Forest. The JIC was constituted on the directions of NGT.
In its report, the committee after reviewing the entire project proposal of Godavari-Krishna-Penna rivers interlinking project and inspection of the site, recommended that before going for any construction activities, which requires an environmental clearance, a detailed project proposal may be prepared and necessary clearance/environmental clearances from Minister of Environment and Forest and also form the State Government are taken.
NGT was dealing with the petition filed by former minister Vatti Vasantha Kumar, Trinath Reddy, and 11 other petitioners. Earlier, on May 31, the Tribunal in its interim orders had asked the State Government to stop the execution of the interlinking of Godavari-Krishna-Penna rivers as the project does not have the requisite environmental clearance. The tribunal had also pulled up the Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board (APPCB) for failing to perform its duty of taking appropriate action as per law.
As per the directions of NGT in January 2019, JIC was formed with Dr M Madhusdhan, additional director of CPCB, B Siva Prasad, Joint Chief Environmental Engineer of APCCB, C Palpandi, Scientist from MoEF and Sowmya D, a scientist from CPCB. Which after extensive inspection submitted its report on May 30.