National Green Tribunal (NGT) today issued orders to the State government to stop all land development works related to the construction of the new capital, Amaravati, till the State gets environmental clearances for the capital project. It also sought a report from the centre and state on the lands facing possible submergence during the flood season in river Krishna.
Andhra Pradesh government is however not so perturbed by the orders. According to sources in the government, the environmental clearance has already been given to the capital project. ” Once we get the copy of the order, the NGT order would become infractuous,” a senior official from CRDA told Telugu360.com late evening.
Meanwhile, chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu also reacted on the NGT orders. He said the orders would not affect the State government’s preparations for laying the foundation stone on October 22. Prime Minister Modi is the chief guest of the program. “The tribunal has issued notice to us seeking our version. We will respond appropriately. We will get all environmental clearances for Amaravati development,” the CM told media after the cabinet meeting this evening.
The NGT was hearing a petition filed by Pandalaneni Srimannarayana of Vijayawada, who raised objection that the new capital was being constructed on multi-crop lands and some of lands were flood-prone. The bench, comprising Justice U D Salvi and Justice Ranjan Chatterjee of the NGT, reminded petitioner’s advocate that AP government had earlier assured the tribunal that it would not take up any constructions, until it gets all required clearances.
The petitioner’s counsel Sanjay,however, contended that the government was going ahead with the works and had already held groundbreaking ceremony at the sight,and preparations for foundation stone laying ceremony to be held on October 22 were afoot. He even presented to the tribunal photographs in support of his claim. The bench asked the AP government counsel, A K Ganguly, whether wetlands and other areas which might face floods during monsoon had been identified in the new capital region.
Then, the tribunal ordered that no land development be taken up at the site till it was cleared from environmental perspective . The Bench also directed the Centre and AP governments to file their replies with regard to the total extent of wetland and other lands that could be flooded during monsoons in the capital region, by November 5, when the case posted for next hearing.