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Mahanadi dispute: NGT extends stay on construction of barrages by Chhattisgarh

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Mahanadi dispute: NGT extends stay on Chhattisgarh’s barrages construction Bhubaneswar: In yet another blow to Chhattisgarh government, the Eastern Zone Bench of National Green Tribunal (NGT) at Kolkata on Thursday extended its stay on the construction of barrages on the upper catchment areas of Mahanadi river by Chhattisgarh.

Hearing the petition filed by social activist Sudarsan Das in the matter relating to the environmental flow and cumulative impact of Chhattisgarh’s various projects, the NGT extended the stay till the next hearing on October 25.

The Advocate General (AG) of Chhattisgarh apprised the NGT of the proceedings before the High Court of Calcutta in the Writ Petition filed by them challenging the NGT order in which the Tribunal had directed Chhattisgarh not to execute the projects which have not yet been commissioned since the matter is pending before it.

With the extension of the stay by the Tribunal, Chhattisgarh cannot proceed with construction work on these projects, which were aimed at drawing water from the Mahanadi river to supply to various industrial units, despite having environmental clearances granted to them by the State level Environment Impact Assessment Authority, Chhattisgarh.

According to reports, there are six barrage projects, which are being built by the neighbouring state primarily to supply water to 35 industrial projects. Ten of these industries are already extracting water from the river but the others are yet to do so. No can they do so now till the NGT stay is in place. .

There are a total of 31 projects which cannot execute their operations as per the Tribunal’s order.

On the other hand, Chhattisgarh has prayed for time to file its response to the rejoinder of the applicant and the affidavits of Odisha.