VIJAYAWADA: A three-member committee of the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) held a day-long inspection of various components of the proposed Rayalaseema Lift Scheme (RLS) to ascertain if the Andhra Pradesh government has taken up the works in contempt of the National Green Tribunal's earlier order as alleged by Telangana.
Since the matter is in the tribunal, member secretary of KRMB DM Raipure said that the findings will only be revealed to the green panel.
After a lot of back and forth, the board has finally held the inspection as per the direction of the tribunal on Wednesday. AP engineer-in-chief (irrigation) C Narayana Reddy and Kurnool chief engineer (projects) R Muralinatha Reddy accompanied the committee members - KRMB member secretary DM Raipure and Central Water Commission's LB Muanthang and Darpan Talwar - and explained to them the proceedings at the project site, why the project was conceived and why it is critical for the Rayalaseema region.
"The NGT has directed us to visit the project. Accordingly, we have seen the project and concluded our inspection. We will submit a report to the tribunal by August 16. We visited all the components of the project," DM Raipure told the media after inspection.
When asked about the findings, he replied, "Since the matter is in the court, we will submit our findings to the NGT itself."
It may be recalled that the tribunal had given time till Friday for the KRMB to complete the inspection and posted the matter for further hearing on August 16. Raipure said that the report will be submitted by the said date.
ENC Narayana Reddy and CE Muralinatha Reddy took the committee to the initially proposed project site near Muchumarri. "We went to the Muchumarri project site and explained to the committee that we had initially proposed the project there. We informed them why we changed the proposed location to near Pothireddypadu head regulator as the earlier location was not feasible," explained CE R Muralinatha Reddy.
During the visit, the officials explained the ongoing works at the project site were related to investigation of the project, which was permitted by the NGT. They apprised the committee members that they had submitted the detailed project report to CWC and that an application for environmental clearance had been submitted. They added that no works beyond those necessary for investigation were taken up.