Mahanadi Row: NGT Asks MoEF To Submit Report On Barrages In 3 Months

mahanadi-banchao-andolan
Photograph: Suprakash Mishra
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New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Monday directed the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) to visit Chhattisgarh to study the construction of barrages on Mahanadi river and submit a report in three months.

The Principal Bench of the tribunal also directed the ministry to forward a copy of the report to the Mahanadi Tribunal.

The directive of the tribunal came during the hearing of a petition filed by the social activist Sudarshan Das, accusing the Chhattisgarh government of constructing barrages on the Mahanadi illegally.

Besides, the NGT rejected the prayer of the Chhattisgarh government to uphold the stay order on the commissioning of its new projects for three months.

If the ministry does not comply with the direction within three months, the tribunal will again take up the matter and hear the case again.

The petitioner had alleged that of six barrages have been illegally constructed without a study on the impact assessment and the carrying capacity. Apart from this, no public hearing was conducted in Odisha over these constructions.

As these issues are flagged in the letter of the MoEF, the Tribunal directed the ministry to submit a report after taking necessary action within three months.

“Let the MoEF take necessary action against the Chhattisgarh government on the basis of the direction of the Tribunal and submit its report within three months. If I am not satisfied with the report of the ministry, I will again file a petition in the NGT,” Das said.

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