Upper Mahanadi projects: NGT seeks reply from Centre, Odisha, Chhattisgarh

Bhubaneswar: The National Green Tribunal (NGT), Eastern Bench, has accepted the petition filed by Agami Odisha, an apolitical forum, on the ongoing construction of projects in upper Mahanadi and sought reply from Centre, Odisha and Chhattisgarh by February 22 next.

The petition of Agami Odisha was heard today in the court of Justice SP Wandi and Dr Prof PC Mishra, Expert Member in the Eastern Bench of NGT at Kolkata.

Talking to OTV over phone today, Agami Odisha counsel Ritwik Dutta said the Ministry of Environment and Forest has given the environment impact assessment clearance to the upcoming projects in upper Mahanadi in Chhattisgarh without consulting the Odisha government.

“We prayed NGT for its urgent intervention in the matter and direct the Chhattisgarh government to stop all projects in Chhatisgarh on upper Mahanadi till proper study is done on the cumulative impact on its ecological flow in the riparian state. We demand that no such clearance should be given without public hearing. We also demand that the Centre should assess the cumulative and downstream impact of these projects since there is no doubt that any project in upper Mahanadi will have an adverse impact on Odisha,” he added.

Dutta said the NGT after admitting the petition has issued notice to the Centre, Odisha and Chhattisgarh in which it has asked them to submit their views on the ongoing project construction works in upper Mahanadi by February 22.