High Court High Court quashes NGT order, allows part of Kaleshwaram project
A division bench of the HC set aside the order of NGT, thereby permitting the state to go ahead with works pertaining to drinking water component.
HYDERABAD: In a huge relief to the Telangana government, a division bench of the High Court on Wednesday set aside the order of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), New Delhi, thereby permitting the state to go ahead with Kaleshwaram project works pertaining to drinking water component.
However, the bench made it clear that the state henceforth neither encroaches upon any part of the reserve forest in connection with the project nor shall fell trees for the project purpose till orders were passed afresh by NGT and till final forest clearance was obtained from the Centre.
Further, it directed the state not to commence construction of distributaries and channels, or undertake ancillary works relating to irrigation project component without obtaining environmental clearance for the project.The bench, comprising acting chief justice Ramesh Ranganathan and justice J Uma Devi, gave these directions on a petition filed by Telangana government challenging the order of the NGT which had stayed the ongoing works of Kaleshwaram project last month.
With regard to the contention of the government that the NGT, New Delhi lacked territorial jurisdiction to entertain the plea against project works and that it had not mentioned this point in its interim order, the bench observed that it was fatal that the Principal Bench, NGT had failed to examine the jurisdictional issues raised by the state before passing the interim order.
While disposing of the petition, the bench granted liberty to Mohd Hayath Uddin, applicant before the NGT, to bring to the notice of HC or NGT if there was any violation of the aforesaid directions by the state government. The bench remanded the matter back to NGT to consider the applicant’s request for grant of interim relief afresh, and in accordance with law.