ADILABAD: After villagers approached the National Green Tribunal (NGT) seeking cancellation of mining permits granted to Kairiguda opencast mine in Tiryani mandal in Kumarambheem Asifabad district, the statutory body tribunal has appointed a joint committee headed by Justice K Ramakrishnan to ascertain the facts and submit a report.
The committee comprising Central Pollution Control Board and Irrigation Department officials as members and district Collector as the nodal officer has been asked to inspect the Vattivagu Irrigation project apart from the villages of Ullipitta, Zendaguda, Dhampur, among others and submit a report before April 29.
Aggrieved residents from Ullipitta and neighbouring villages had approached the NGT alleging that the coal ash dumps are causing diseases, including skin, and the coal ash that is excavated from Kairiguda opencast mine extension is flowing into agricultural fields, villages, and backwaters of Vattivagu irrigation project, damaging standing crops and ecology.
The petitioner Gedam Dilip Kumar and other residents of Ullipitta said that every year during the monsoon season, the villages get flooded. It was also reported that the houses of tribal people in the vicinity were damaged due to the rock blasting.
They said the day-to-day dumping of Singareni coal waste surrounding the Vattivagu project will reduce the water supply to agriculture fields.
They informed the NGT that they had submitted multiple memorandums to the district Collector and Singareni officials but no action followed. It was after hearing all these arguments , the tribunal directed the committee to submit a detailed report.
They sought the cancellation of the permit granted to the opencast mine as it was violating the Panchayat (Extension of the Scheduled Areas) Act.
Last monsoon season, Vullipitta and other villages were heavily affected due to the negligence of the Singareni officials, said S Ramu, villager of Ullipitta.
M Malleshayam, another villager, said that most of the coal dust were dumped into Vattivagu irrigation project. “Though we complained to the Irrigation department about it, no action was taken,” he said.
Apart from all this, they said a few Adivasi villages which were relocated as part of the project initially were not provided adequate facilities.
Petitioners seek pemit cancellation
Aggrieved residents sought the cancellation of the permit granted to the opencast mine as it was violating the Panchayat (Extension of the Scheduled Areas) Act. They had submitted representations to Collector and SCCL officials, but no action followed