Supreme Court declines to hear petition against Telangana’s Kaleshwaram project

In a major relief to the Telangana government, the Supreme Court on Monday rejected a petition seeking a stay on the Kaleshwaram lift irrigation project.

The bench comprising of justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta were hearing a petition filed by D Laxminarayana, convener of Telangana Engineers Forum, sought to know if so many reservoirs needed to be built for the project and also sought the constitution of an experts committee.

When the matter came up for hearing, the Telangana government’s said that several petitions had been filed earlier and alleged that certain people were trying to stall the project.

When the bench asked the petitioner as to why they didn’t approach the High Court, the petitioner said it was an inter-state.

The bench said that it was not willing to hear the matter and asked the petitioner to approach the Hyderabad High Court if needed.

Responding to the development, Harish Rao told reporters, “In the High Court alone, 80 cases were filed against the project. Irrespective of the number of times they have approached the courts and their pleas rejected, Congress leaders are yet to learn any lesson. Today’s decision by the Supreme Court should make it clear that they will never succeed in their conspiracies to stop the project.”

In December last year, the Kaleshwaram project, being built across Godavari River in Telangana, received environmental clearance from the Union Environment, Forest and Climate Change Ministry, it was announced.

The Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) on irrigation projects gave the clearance for the project at its meeting held on December 5, according to the minutes of the meeting released in Hyderabad by the Telangana government.

Being built at a cost of about Rs 80,499 crore, the project will divert 180 TMC of water to irrigate 7.38 lakh hectares.

It envisages construction of a barrage near Medigadda village in Karimnagar district to irrigate the land in seven districts. Proposed to be completed in three years, it is also expected to stabilise the existing command area of 7.62 lakh hectares.

The project also proposes to provide drinking water facility for Hyderabad and Secunderabad cities. It required about 32,000 hectares of land out of which 2,866 hectares is forest land.

The construction of the project will lead to submergence of about 13,706 hectares including 302 hectares in Maharashtra.

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