Bhubaneswar: In yet another jolt to Chhattisgarh government, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) today extended its interim stay on construction of projects on the upper catchment of Mahanadi river which have yet not been commissioned.
The NGT extended the interim stay issued by it to stop construction of projects upstream the river on 26 July 2017 until the next date of hearing on 25 October 2017.
Advocate General of Chhattisgarh had apprised the NGT about the proceedings before the Calcutta High Court on the writ petition filed by them challenging the green watchdog’s order dated 26 July 2017 restraining them from executing projects which have not been commissioned.
However, the NGT today made it very clear that they have no doubt about their jurisdiction relating to substantial questions related to environment of the Mahanadi river and they are very well within their right to hear the matter on merits and pass orders from time to time.
Hence, as per NGT’s July 26 order and today’s extended order, six major projects which were to draw water from the Mahanadi river for various industrial purposes cannot proceed with the same in spite of having environmental clearances granted to them by the State Level Environment Impact Assessment Authority, Chhattisgarh.
There are a total of 31 projects which cannot execute their operations as per the NGT’s order.
However, Chhattisgarh has prayed for time to file its responses to the rejoinder of the applicant and the affidavits of Odisha.
Notably, social activist Sudarsan Das had moved the NGT seeking a stay on the constructions saying that these projects would deeply affect the fragile ecology as well as lives of people in Odisha.