Topics Covered: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.
Kaleshwaram eco-clearance violates law: NGT:
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has held that environmental clearance (EC) to the Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Project (KLIP) was granted ex post facto, after completion of substantial work, by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) “in violation of law”.
What needs to be done now?
Fix accountability needs and take remedial measures.
- For that purpose, it has directed the MoEF&CC to constitute a seven-member expert committee preferably out of expert appraisal committee (EAC) members with relevant sectorial expertise to go into the matter in light of the observations in the present case.
Terms of reference:
- The expert committee could assess the extent of damage caused in going ahead with the project without EC — the period from 2008 to 2017 — and identify the necessary restoration measures.
- It could look into relief and rehabilitation measures adopted and required to be further adopted, examine effective implementation of the environmental management plan submitted by the project proponent.
Kaleshwaram lift irrigation project:
Originally called Pranahita-Chevella project in erstwhile Andhra Pradesh, it was redesigned, extended and renamed as Kaleshwaram project in Telangana in 2014.
It is aimed to make Telangana drought proof by harnessing the flood waters of the Godavari.
The project is an under-construction multi-purpose irrigation project on the Godavari River in Kaleshwaram, Bhoopalpally, Telangana.
- The project starts at the confluence point of Pranahita River and Godavari River.
Why is it significant?
Waters of the Godavari will be tapped by reverse pumping and storage, thereby facilitating agriculture on over 38 lakh acres, helping rejuvenate thousands of tanks, providing water for industries, and supplying drinking water to Hyderabad and Secunderabad by creating a series of storage tanks and a network of pipelines.
The project will also support Mission Kakatiya and Mission Bhagiratha schemes designed to provide drinking water to many villages and improve the capacities of tanks.
When completed, it will be the world’s largest irrigation and drinking water system.
Sources: the Hindu.