VIJAYAWADA: The petition filed by “aggrieved farmers” from Chittoor district alleging that the Andhra Pradesh government has initiated works related to various Rayalaseema irrigation projects without obtaining prior environmental clearance (EC) will be heard for admission by the southern zonal bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Monday. A group of farmers filed the petition alleging that they moved the tribunal as the State did not address the grievances raised by them.
According to the petition dated June 27, 13 farmers Gutha Gunasekhar, Gunturi Chandrababu, Sannapaneni Yadava Naidu, S Lepakshi Naidu, Banala Chandrachari, Sompalli Lakshmipati Naidu, Gutha Sundaraiah Naidu, Gutha Kesavula Naidu, Sompalli Changalraya Naidu, Sannapaneni Vasudeva Naidu, J Chinnikrishnama Naidu and Gutha Chandrasekhar Naidu alleged that the AP government has taken up works related to ‘several lift irrigation’ schemes under Galeru Nagari and Handri Neeva Sujala Sravanthi projects with an estimated cost of Rs 5,139 crore without prior EC.
They also said that tenders for three balancing reservoirs at an outlay of Rs 2,144.5 crore were finalised. They claimed that they had made representations to hold alternative studies, but the project proponent started works without any permission. The contractors damaged the existing bund and slews of Seetamma lake near Avulapalli ignoring paddy crops and also damaged a 500-year-old Seetamma temple, they alleged. “Since complaints of the aggrieved applicants were not addressed by the state and the Central governments, this application is filed...,” they claimed. The NGT will hear the petition via video conference and decide to admit it or not on Monday.
Minister sees TDP hand
Roads and Buildings Minister M Shankara Narayana has slammed TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu for his dubious stand on the irrigation projects in the state. The minister alleged that the case was filed in NGT against linking of Galeru Nagiri Sujala Sravanthi and Handri Niva Sujala Sravanthi and the formation of three reservoirs in the most backward areas of western Chittoor of Punganur, Madanapalle and Thamballapalli by TDP supporters. “Instead of welcoming the project, being residents of Chittoor district, the petitioners, who belong to TDP, are stalling it,’’ he said and added that Naidu is against the completion of these projects and hence conspired to stall the works through his supporters.