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NGT directs AP govt not to proceed with Godavari-Penna river-linking project without EC

NGT directs AP govt not to proceed with Godavari-Penna river-linking project without EC

(Eds: Adding details) New Delhi, Aug 13 (PTI) The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Tuesday directed the Andhra Pradesh government not to proceed with the Godavari-Krishna-Penna river-linking project and the construction of the Pattiseema, Purushothapatnam and Chintalapudi lift irrigation schemes without the necessary environmental clearance (EC).A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel also directed the government in the southern state to implement the recommendations of a joint committee comprising representatives of the regional office of the Environment Ministry, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and the state pollution control board.The order came after the bench perused a report submitted by the committee.The committee which told the tribunal that after reviewing the proposal of the Godavari-Krishna-Penna river-linking project and a site inspection, it was recommended that before going for any construction activities that required an EC, a detailed project proposal might be prepared and the necessary statutory environmental clearance taken.The committee told the bench that Godavari-Krishna-Penna river linking project is an independent project which involves five phases.In the present Phase-I, the project has only been proposed by the Andhra Pradesh government and the authorities are yet to prepare a detailed report as a whole for the five phases, it said.The Phase-I of the project is to facilitate drinking water supply and industrial water needs in the fluoride, saline and drought prone areas and no new cultivable command area is proposed, the committee said. "It is only lifting water from Krishna river to Nagarajuna Sagar Jawahar canal at 66.9 km to serve the purpose. It is informed by the Water Resources Department that in Phase-I of the project, the investigation work is completed. Land acquisition is yet to be started and some of the electromechanical materials are procured," the report said."The Phase-I project does not involve any submergence, forest land or resettlement issues. However, committee after reviewing the entire project proposal is of the opinion that before going for any construction activities, which require environmental clearance, a detailed project report has to be prepared and necessary statutory clearance/environmental clearance taken from the Ministry of Environment and Forests and the state government," it said.The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by former minister Vatti Vasanth Kumar, claiming that the state government has initiated Godavari-Krishna-Penna rivers linking project without clearance from the Central Water Commission and the Ministry of Environment and Forests.Advocate Sravan Kumar appeared for Vatti Vansanth Kumar.The tribunal had earlier rapped the Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board and said it has failed to perform its duty to take appropriate action as per law. PTI PKS PKS DIVDIV