Karnataka hails NGT order closing proceedings against Mekedatu project
(Sourced from PTI)
The Karnataka government on Friday welcomed the National Green Tribunal's decision to close on its own, proceedings based on a media report against the ambitious Mekedatu project and said the project would be started soon. The tribunal had taken cognizance of a media report which stated that there will be adverse impact on forests and sanctuaries if the Mekedatu project is permitted.
The ambitious Mekedatu project is aimed at supplying drinking water in Bengaluru and the surrounding areas. The report further said that there was no requisite clearance under the EIA Notification, 2006.
While closing the proceedings on Thursday, the five-member panel of the Principal Bench of the NGT, led by Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, found merit in the submission of Karnataka Advocate General Prabhuling Navadgi. The submission said that the media report did not mention that the issue of statutory environmental clearances is already pending consideration before the statutory authorities concerned.
It noted that even the very same media report has been mentioned by the Tamil Nadu Government in its submission before the Ministry of Jal Shakti in its April 27, 2021 letter, even before it was taken cognizance of by the Tribunal. Further, the same issue has also been raised by Tamil Nadu before the Supreme Court.
"Thus, there is no need for this Tribunal to continue the suo moto proceedings," the bench noted. "The Mekedatu project, which is significant for the state of Karnataka, is aimed at the drinking water supply. The NGT, which was hearing a petition seeking a stay on the project, dismissed it and endorsed Karnataka's argument," the bench said.
"The project will be started as soon as possible after getting all the clearances," Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa tweeted. Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister Dr. CN Ashwath Narayan called the NGT verdict a shot in the arm. "A major development in the Mekedatu project for Karnataka! I welcome the decision of the NGT," Ashwath Narayan tweeted.