NGT orders interim stay on Kaleshwaram project

The National Green Tribunal on Thursday ordered an interim stay on Kaleshwaram lift irrigation project due to lack of environmental clearances.

The interim stay was granted after the Tribunal heard a plea filed by Mohammad Hayathuddin stating that the construction of the scheme had begun without environmental and other statutory clearances in violation of Forest Conservation Act. The bench, headed by Justice Jawad Rahim, restrained the Maharashtra and Telangana Governments from carrying out any construction activities on the project until mandatory statutory clearances including environment and forest clearances are granted.

“By an ad interim injunction, the respondents are restrained from carrying out any construction activities for the Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Scheme or any other activity like felling of trees, blasting and tunnelling in the forest areas in violation to Forest Conservation Act, until the mandatory statutory clearances including Environment and Forest clearances are granted,” the Tribunal said.

The project envisages the construction of a barrage across river Godavari near Medigadda village in the Karimnagar district of Telangana for diversion of 180,000 million cubic feet of water which could irrigate 7,38,851 hectares of land, covering the erstwhile Adilabad, Karimnagar, Nizamabad, Warangal, Medak, Nalgonda and Rangareddy districts of Telangana.

The Tribunal rejected Telangana Government’s contention that the project was being constructed for the purpose of supplying drinking water. (INN