Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jan 31:
The Eastern Zone Bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in Kolkata has served notices to the Centre, state governments of Chhattisgarh and Odisha over ongoing construction upstream of river Mahanadi.
The national green panel admitting a petition filed by Agami Odisha, an apolitical forum, served notices to the Centre and state governments of Chhattisgarh and Odisha, asking them to file their replies by February 23.
The forum in its petition has sought the national green watchdog to immediately intervene and direct Chhattisgarh government to stop constructions upstream of Mahanadi. It has cited that construction of these projects would deeply affect lives of people in Odisha.
“The projects coming up in Chhattisgarh on Mahanadi have been given environment impact assessment clearance by the State Impact Assessment Authority or the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) without consulting Odisha. We have prayed that no project be given clearance without holding a public hearing. Secondly, we have further prayed for cumulative assessment and downstream assessment of the projects. The projects coming up in Chhattisgarh will affect Odisha. The NGT has issued notices to the Central government and the state governments of Chhattisgarh and Odisha, while fixing the next date of hearing for February 23,” informed Ritwik Dutta, counsel of Agami Odisha.