The Environmental Clearance (EC) granted to Avulapalli Reservoir was revoked by a National Green Tribunal (NGT) judgement, which the Andhra Pradesh government appealed to the Supreme Court. The primary defence of the appeal was that the EC was only obtained for the construction of the 2.50 TMCFT Avulapalli balancing reservoir, even though the relevant Government Orders (GOs) called for the construction of three reservoirs to link the Handri Neeva Sujala Sravanthi to the Galeru Nagari Sujala Sravanthi.
On May 11, the NGT in Chennai revoked the EC that the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) of Andhra Pradesh had granted to the Avulapalli Reservoir. Additionally, it fined the State’s Water Resource Department 100 crores.
Judge Pushpa Sathyanarayana and expert member Dr Satyagopal Korlapati made this observation in a bench decision. They found it disturbing that a government agency could implement an irrigation project by using deception, fraud, and deceiving the SEIAA, which is a flagrant violation of environmental standards. It is deeply troubling to learn that a government agency may go so far as to construct an irrigation project by lying, deceiving, and tricking the SEIAA, according to the Tribunal, in flagrant violation of environmental rules. The NGT was deciding on an appeal brought by farmers who questioned the legality of the project’s EC.
A supreme court bench consisting of Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud and Justices PS Narasimha and JB Pardiwala held that The matter will be listed on May 17 for hearing an appeal.