20 October 2020.
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on 20th October 2020 held that environmental clearance was granted to the Kaleshwaram lift irrigation project in Telangana “ex post facto” in violation of legal requirement, and formed a committee to assess the extent of damage caused and identify the restoration measures.
- MoEF has been directed by NGT to constitute an expert committee of seven members to suggest relief and rehabilitation measures to be adopted.
- The tribunal’s judgement came on a plea filed by Telangana-based Mohammad Hayath Udin, who alleged that the construction of the scheme had begun without environmental and other statutory clearances.
- The plea had sought a ban on any non-forest activities such as felling of trees and blasting and tunnelling activities in the forest areas, which were in violation of the Forest Conservation Act.
- Another plea was filed on the proposal and finalisation of tenders for the expansion of the Kaleshwaram lift irrigation project without obtaining prior environmental clearance with an estimated cost of Rs 21,000 crore
- A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel pointed out that the stand of the project proponent that the project executed prior to the grant of environmental clearance (EC) is unrelated to irrigation is “patently untenable”.
Kaleshwaram lift irrigation project
- It is a multipurpose irrigation project of the Telangana government.
- The project is being constructed on the meeting point of River Godavari and River Pranahita.
- The project was earlier called as the pranahita chevella project and named as Kaleshwaram project in 2014.