The National Green Tribunal has directed Telangana government to respond to a letter by the Ministry of Jal Shakti to Chief Minister K. Chandra Sekhar Rao asking not to proceed with expansion of Kaleshwaram lift irrigation project without submitting detailed project report to Godavari River Management Board.
“We have asked counsel for the project proponent and the State of Telangana to respond to the averments in the counter affidavit filed by the Secretary, Department of Water Resources, Ministry of Jal Shakti on October 9 which refers to a letter by the Ministry of Jal Shakti to the CM not to proceed with the project without submitting DPR to Godavari River Management Board and without sanction of the Apex Council,” a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice A K Goel said.
It asked the Telangana government to file a written submission clarifying its stand on or before October 16.
The tribunal reserved its verdict in the matter after hearing all the parties and said that the order will be uploaded before October 20.
It said the project for expansion has also to be submitted to the Central Water Commission, "in absence of which we will have to issue directions to that effect."
The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by Thummanapally Srinivas and others who had approached the NGT on the proposal and finalization of tenders for the expansion of Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Project without obtaining prior Environmental Clearance with an estimated cost of Rs. 21,000 crore.
“The Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Project with Rs. 81,000 Crores has been completed and inaugurated on June 21, 2019 by the then Chief Minister of Maharastra Devender Fadnavis, Chief Minister of Telangana K. Chandra Sekhar Rao and Andhra Pradesh CM Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy.
“But after completion of the project, State of Telangana has proposed a major expansion with Rs. 21,000 Crore without waiting for the proper execution of the Main Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Project. It has issued government Orders and finalised Tenders for the expansion of various components of Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Project in April-May 2020, the plea filed through advocate Sravan Kumar said.
Union Minister of Jal Shakti wrote a letter to stop the expansion of the Kaleshwaram project without approvals from the Union of India, the plea said.
Disclaimer: This story has not been edited by Water Today staff and is generated from news feeds. Source: PTI