Telangana government increasing capacity without green nod, court told
The Supreme Court July 27, 2022 ordered status quo on the Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Project (KLIP) after it was told Telangana government was increasing the capacity of the project without any environmental clearances.
A bench comprising Justice AM Khanwilkar, Justice Abhay S Oka and Justice JB Pardiwala served notices to the state and Union governments for taking up the expansion work of KLIP without adequate clearances.
KLIP currently draws 2 billion cubic (tmc) feet of water and was being expanded to draw 3 tmc feet of water every day. It is one of the largest such projects in the world.
The Telangana government told the court that the petitions questioning the project’s expansion were politically motivated. It claimed that the farmers whom the expansion would impact had already accepted compensation from the government.
The state government further said they had environmental clearance for the original lift irrigation project. The same authorisation would hold good for the expansion as well.
The apex court was hearing six petitions related to the compensation and land acquisition filed by the project oustees.
The Supreme Court will next take up hearings in the case on August 23, 2022.
The Kaleshwaram irrigation project is a bone of contention between Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) that holds the office and the Opposition.
Bharatiya Janata Party chief JP Nadda January 2022 had alleged that Chief Minister of Telangana, K C Rao, had spent Rs 1,20,000 crore on the irrigation project till now, but the water was yet to reach the residents.
The project was originally worth Rs 36,000 crore. “Kaleshwaram has become an ATM for KCR. The water has only reached his farmhouse and nowhere else,” Nadda had said, as reported by media outlet Financial Times.
The project was in the news a fortnight ago after it got flooded.
Incessant rains in the catchment areas of the Godavari river earlier this month had led to the floods that had severely affected KLIP. Two huge pumping stations were inundated and another was partially damaged, a report by media outlet Hindustan Times said.
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