Report on Prakasam barrage, Andhra Pradesh, 20/07/2020
Evaluation & Validation Report filed by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) in compliance to the National Green Tribunal (NGT) order of 14/02/2020 in the matter of O.A. No. 935/2018 titled as Anumolu Gandhi Vs. State of Andhra Pradesh.
The matter related to allegation of illegal mining in the name of desilting in the state of Andhra Pradesh damaging river Krishna and the environment. The plea of the state of Andhra Pradesh was that desilting was being done by Inland Waterways Authority of India, without adversely affecting the environment.
On February 14, 2020 the bench of Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel and S.P. Wangdi directed the constitution of an Expert Committee (MoEF&CC, Indian School of Mines, Indian Institute of Science and CPCB) to 'independently evaluate and validate' the two reports submitted by the government of Andhra Pradesh to the NGT on the matter.
The two reports were the following:
1. Report submitted by Water Resource Department including findings of Bathymetric survey
2. Ecological Impact Assessment Study on Flora and Fauna of River Krishna” carried out by Acharya Nagarjuna University.
The committee members concluded that the Water Resource Department, Government of Andhra Pradesh had carried out a bathymetric survey in conformity with the established and recommended practices. As per the bathymetric survey carried out during December 2019 to January 2020 present storage capacity of Prakasam barrage across the Krishna river is 2.982 TMC. There is a loss in storage capacity of 0.089 TMC as compared to the design capacity of 3.071 TMC.
The report submitted by the Water Resources Department to the NGT was satisfactory.
From the ecological assessment report it can be inferred that the cautious use of dredgers and mechanised boats and judicious desilting activity may not have serious impacts on flora and fauna in Prakasam barrage. Overall the ecological assessment report was satisfactory except the section on water quality.
Note: The report of July 20, 2020 was uploaded to the NGT site on August 20, 2020