NGT clears decks for Yettinahole drinking water Project in Karnataka

Source: PTI | Published on 25th May 2019, 11:37 AM | State News |

Bengaluru: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) Friday cleared the decks for the Yettinahole drinking water project in Karnataka, refusing to set aside the sanction granted by authorities to it.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, however, directed the state forest department and the ministry of environment and forests to monitor the project and if they found that there were any violation, they are at liberty to take appropriate action against the project proponent.

"We feel that neither the appellant nor the original applicant had made out any case against the implementation of the project and set aside the sanction granted by the authorities for this project. So both the appeals as well as the original application lack merits and the same are liable to be dismissed," the bench said.

Besides Justice Goel, Justices S P Wangdi and K Ramakrishnan were part of the bench.

The tribunal also said that the document produced by the applicant show that the government as well as the authorities have called for necessary documents wherever they required clarification and only after getting those clarifications and the documents that they have granted the approval.

"The notification relied on by the counsel for the appellant as well as the applicant issued in the year 2015 on the basis of Dr. Kasturirangan Report on Western Ghats also didn't prohibit the project regarding drinking water purpose and only certain categories of activities specified therein alone were prohibited," the tribunal said.

The judgement came on a plea filed by environmentalists K N Somashekar and H A Kishor Kumar alleging that the project work was started by the Karnataka government without getting required permission from various statutory bodies and sought injunction restraining them from proceeding with the work without conducting the scientific study of environment impact on the Western Ghats.

The complainants claimed that Karnataka had proposed to undertake Yettinahole project through Karnataka Neeravari Nigam Limited in the bio-diversity rich Hassan district in the Western Ghats by diverting water from the west flowing tributaries of River Nethravathi.

The purpose of the project is to provide drinking water to several districts, including Kolar, Chikkaballapur, Ramanagara and Bangalore Rural.

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