Sharing a news item that had appeared in Indian Express. Earlier the Govt. of Odisha had protested about this project citing large forest areas are going to be submerged. It would be pertinent to mention that some of the pristine forests are going to be submerged due to the project. Now the MoEF has asked Andhra Govt. to clarify on the constructions in Polavaram.
MoEF asks Andhra govt to clarify on Polavaram works
Tags : Andhra Pradesh, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Polavaram multipurpose project, Environment Protection Act
Posted: Tue Nov 02 2010, 04:10 hrs
Taking a serious view of ongoing construction activity at Polavaram multipurpose project in Andhra Pradesh without a suitable environment clearance, the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) has sought explanation from the state government for not complying with its directions for getting a clearance.
The ministry has asked the Andhra Pradesh government to explain as to why a formal show-cause notice under Section 5 of the Environment (Protection) Act be not issued against the project proponent for continuing work at the site.
The irrigation-cum-hydel power project on the Godavari river had been asked in March 2009 to conduct public hearings in Chhattisgarh and Orissa following changes in the design of the project. The changes included the construction of bunds/embankments on two rivers in order to avoid submergence of areas in Orissa and Chhattisgarh. Both these state governments had expressed apprehension that large parts of their border areas would get submerged by the 960-MW power project. It was because of their objections that the original design of the project — which incidentally had been given an environment clearance in 2005 — had to be changed.
In June 2009, the Environment Ministry issued a reminder to the state government to carry out the public hearings so that its 2005 clearance could be amended to account for the design changes.
“However, till date public hearing in the above mentioned states could not be undertaken. This Ministry has been informed that construction related to dam is continuing without getting the environmental clearance amended for additional components like construction of embankments, drainage sluices etc,” the Environment Ministry has said in a communication to Andhra Pradesh.
The ministry has now asked the state government to furnish “within 7-10 days” all information pertaining to the construction status of the dam and related works. It has also sought reasons for not holding public hearings “even after one and half years of issuing the letter (directing that public hearings be held)”.
In July this year, the Environment Ministry had granted forest clearance to the project on the condition that the Andhra Pradesh government would ensure that no forest land in Orissa or Chhattisgarh was submerged because of the project.
However, Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik was still not satisfied and met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to express his concerns over the possibility of some tribal villages in his state getting inundated due to the project.
The source article can be found here: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/mo...works/705830/0