Hyderabad: The Telangana State government has requested the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) chairman, J Chandrashekhar Iyer to take immediate action to restrain Andhra Pradesh from carrying out works on Rayalaseema Pumping System and upgradation of Pothireddypadu Head Regulator, Banakacharla Complex to draw 80,000 cusecs from the foreshore of Srisailam reservoir and other related works.
Special Chief Secretary to Government (Irrigation and CAD Department) Dr Rajat Kumar, in a letter to Iyer, said these works were progressing at a brisk pace in violation of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) order and urged him to prevent illegal diversion of Krishna River waters.
“As you are aware, the NGT had directed the AP government not to go ahead with the execution of the Rayalaseema Lift Irrigation Scheme (RLIS) without obtaining prior environmental clearance,” he said.
The NGT order dated February 24, 2021, directed that “the KRMB, on the basis of the complaint made by the Telangana Government in this regard, are at liberty to go into the question and if it is found that there is any violation of this tribunal in proceeding with the matter on the basis of the investigation conducted by them independently, they are at liberty to take appropriate action against the fourth” respondent (AP) in accordance with law apart from the applicant to approach this tribunal at that stage. The board is directed to take appropriate decisions in the application at the earliest.”
Further, the AP Chief Secretary submitted before the NGT that they were only doing the preparatory work for the Detailed Project Report and not the main work. It is pertinent to state that the tribunal held that “we are now believing the assertions made by the Chief Secretary that they are only doing the preliminary investigation for the purpose of preparing DPR.” In view of the same, it directed the board to send a fact-finding committee to ascertain the facts and take appropriate action against the State in case it was found that there was any violation of its orders by AP.
In this connection, the Engineer-in-Chief (General), Telangana had requested the board to act on the orders of NGT at the earliest and also to send a fact-finding committee to the project site to ascertain the status on the above subject and to take appropriate action. “We are constrained to note that the board has failed to ensure that the NGT orders are followed, as it is reliably learnt that AP is proceeding briskly with the construction of above work in utter violation of tribunal. Pictures that are attached with the letter depict the violation of NGT orders,” Rajat Kumar said in his letter.