Mahanadi Row: NGT seeks report on barrages in 3 months

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New Delhi: In a major relief for Odisha, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Monday directed the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) to visit Chhattisgarh for studying the alleged illegal construction of barrages on Mahanadi river and submit a report on it in three months.

The directive of the tribunal came during the hearing of a petition filed by Sudarshan Das, Convenor at Mahanadi Bachao Andolan, accusing the Chhattisgarh government of constructing six barrages on Mahanadi violating environmental laws.

The Principal Bench of the tribunal also directed the environment ministry to send a copy of their study report to the Mahanadi Tribunal.

In addition, the tribunal rejected the plea of Chhattisgarh government to uphold the stay order on the commissioning of its new projects for three months.

If the ministry does not comply with the direction within three months, the tribunal will again take up the matter and hear the case again.

“My appeal for conducting studies for maintaining e-flow of the river and impact assessment studies on the projects has been upheld by the tribunal. Chhatishgarh once again got exposed for violating environmental laws in constructing the barrages. NGT has disposed of the matter but if the report of the MoEF on its action against the illegal projects of Chhattisgarh is not satisfactory, I may again make a fresh appeal before the NGT in favour of my contention,” Das said.

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