Amaravati: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has taken serious note of the violations in the environmental clearance in the ongoing Polavaram project. The NGT summoned the Chief Executive Officer of Polavaram Project Authority to be present for the next hearing on November 7.
NGT Principal Bench led by Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, comprising Justices Wangdi, Ramakrishnan and Dr Nagin Nanda, directed on Friday while hearing two petitions. One petition was filed by Dr Pentapati Pulla Rao and another by Ponguleti Sudhakar Reddy about environmental violations such as illegal dumping, lack of planning in the construction of cofferdam and adverse effect of backwaters on Bhadrachalam and Telangana region.
In an earlier hearing, the bench had directed Central Pollution Control Board, AP Pollution Control Board and District Collector of West Godavari to jointly inspect and submit a report on the issues raised in the petitions. Accordingly, the joint inspection committee submitted its report, which was considered by the bench in Friday’s hearing. The report opined that project proponent did not comply with the recommendations made by the joint inspection committee.
The NGT bench questioned the counsel for Union Environment Ministry as to what steps have been initiated by the Ministry about the violations in environment clearance. It also asked the counsel for Polavaram Project Authority and Andhra Pradesh state as to why they have not followed protocols while constructing the cofferdam such as rehabilitating project-affected people before completion of the work. The counsel appearing for Union Environment Ministry, Polavaram Project Authority and State of Andhra Pradesh sought time to respond, but the bench declined their request.