VIJAYAWADA: The three-member Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) team, which inspected the Rayalaseema Lift Irrigation Scheme (RLIS) on August 11, has concluded that works undertaken at the project site “are in excess than what are required for the preparation of detailed project report (DPR).” The National Green Tribunal will examine the report submitted by the KRMB on Monday as it is scheduled to complete pleadings in the contempt petition filed by original petitioner Gavinolla Srinivas, against the project, and the Telangana government, alleging violation of previous order by the NGT.
The report has been submitted a day after Telangana Special Chief Secretary (Irrigation) Rajat Kumar raised apprehension over the “impartiality” of the committee’s observations as AP officials accompanied the team members during the inspection. According to the 12-page report, submitted to the Southern Zone Bench, the team, comprising KRMB member-secretary DM Raipure, member LB Muanthang and CWC official Darpan Talwar, said no activity was going on at the project site on the day of inspection.
We are ready to defend our actions, says official
Along with photographs, the team told the tribunal that the works undertaken component-wise, including those of approach channel excavation (which is submerged), excavation of fore bay, pump house pit, 10 tunnels for the erection of delivery pipeline, and delivery cistern. It added that two batching plants were also erected.
“The team is of the view that the works undertaken at the site are in excess than what are, in general, required for the purpose of preparation of DPR as per Ministry of Water Resources’ guidelines for the preparation of DPR of irrigation and multipurpose projects (2010),” it said in its conclusion.
Andhra Pradesh officials, however, said that they were ready to defend the observations made by the KRMB team. For the record, the State has been maintaining that it has not taken up any works beyond those required for the investigation and DPR preparation and also filed an affidavit detailing the same. The officials said that works beyond preparatory works would mean concreting, which will be taken up only after getting necessary clearances. “Unless excavation is done, we would not be able to precisely design the foundation and other related works. We have seen the report and we are ready to defend our actions,” a senior official from the water resources department told TNIE.
It may be recalled that in its order dated August 9, the NGT had not granted the three weeks time sought by the KRMB to submit the report, noting, “the only question that has to be considered is as to whether there was any excess work than required for the preparation of DPR by the State of AP and whether they are doing any preparatory work for the execution of the proposed project against the directions issued by this tribunal.” The KRMB sought time as it wanted a new member nominated by the Ministry of Jal Shakti after AP had objected to the presence of a CWC official hailing from Telangana in the team. Subsequently, the KRMB team visited the project on August 11 and concluded that the works were in excess than what are required for the preparation of DPR.
Excess works undertaken
The team is of the view that the works undertaken at the site are in excess than what are, in general, required for the purpose of preparation of DPR as per the guidelines of the ministry