Environmental clearance for Polavaram quashed

Much to the Andhra Pradesh government's dismay, the National Environmental Appellate Authority has quashed the environmental clearance for the state's multi-crore Indira Sagar Project, formerly known as the Polavaram Irrigation Project.

In a historic ruling on December 19, the authority for the first time took into consideration the fact that the project flouted rules set for carrying out an environmental impact assessment (eia) and denied information to the affected people. "It is evident that no public hearing was conducted in the affected areas of Orissa and Chhattisgarh. Neither did the affected persons have any access to the executive summary of the project in the notified place nor did they have any opportunity to participate in Public Hearing and express their view on the environment impact of the environment of the area,' the bench said while annulling the environmental clearance. Construction on the multi-purpose project, worth Rs 9,000 crores, started in early 2005 after it received environmental clearance from the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests see