The Southern Zone Bench of National Green Tribual (NGT) has reiterated its earlier order that Telangana government could not continue works pertaining to Sitamma Sagar Multi-Purpose Project, which is a part of the Sitarama Lift Irrigation Project, without obtaining environmental clearance.
During the hearing of a petition filed by one Tellam Naresh alleging that the State government was carrying out works pertaining to Sitamma Sagar without getting environmental clearance, Judicial Member Pushpa Sathyanarayana and Expert Member Satyagopal Korlapati of the Bench said earlier this week the project proponent (State government) was proceeding in the right direction to get environmental clearance.
Counsel appearing for the State government informed the Bench that Sitamma Sagar was a part of the of the Sitarama LIP, for which environmental clearance has already been obtained. However, a separate environmental impact assessment study was conducted for Sitamma Sagar and the terms of reference for its appraisal were already issued by the Ministry of Environment and Forest. Public hearing would be held after getting a go-ahead from the Ministry.
The Bench observed that it is for the project proponent to get the process of getting environmental clearance expedited and approvals and clearances are secured from various departments in case the State government is in a hurry to carry out works and complete the project.
The State Government has proposed Sitamma Sagar in 3,122 acres at Ammagaripalli in Bhadradri-Kothagudem district with a water storage capacity of 36.58 tmc ft as a balancing reservoir for Sitarama project for irrigating about 6.75 lakh acres ayacut and also to establish an 8×40 megawatt hydro-electric generation facility with an estimated cost of about ₹3,500 crore.
The reservoir is proposed across the river Godavari with 65 vents, 200 meters downstream of the existing Dummugudem anicut. Environmental Clearance for Sitarama LIP was given in January 2019.