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Setback for C’garh as NGT stays construction of projects on Mahanadi upstream




 The Chhattisgarh government received yet another jolt today in the contentious Mahanadi issue as the National Green Tribunal (NGT) today extended its interim stay on construction of projects which have not yet been commissioned on the upstream of the river.

The NGT extended the interim stay issued by it until the next date of hearing on October 25, 2017. While Advocate General of Chhattisgarh 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 July 26, 2017 restraining them from executing projects which have not been commissioned, the NGT today made it clear that they have no doubt about their jurisdiction to try the matter relating to substantial question 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 six barrage projects which have been primarily built by Chhattisgarh to supply water to 35 industrial projects, out of which ten industries are already extracting water from the river but there are 25 industrial projects which are yet to start extracting water from the river and they cannot do so until further orders from the NGT. There are a total of 31 projects which cannot execute their operations as per the NGT’s order.

However, Chhattisgarh has sought 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.






Editorial

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From asking his party men to ‘live a simple life and serve the people’ to taunting the BJP for its ‘crocodile tears’, Chief Minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik has not only become politically invincible, he seems to be so in the coming years too.

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