NGT refuses to hear RELA's plea against Polavaram project

Bhubaneswar: The Principal Bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) today refused to hear the case relating to the controversial Polavaram multipurpose project as the case is pending in the Supreme Court.

The bench said it cannot exercise 'parallel jurisdiction,' sources said.

On Monday, a three-judge bench of the tribunal headed by its chairman Justice Swatanter Kumar besides additional judges Justice Jawad Rahim and Justice Bikram Sajwan, asked the petitioner RELA to explain why the NGT should hear the case as the matter is pending before the Supreme Court.

Telangana-based NGO namely RELA had moved the NGT demanding decrease in height of the project. It had made Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh party in the petition. The NGO also submitted that proper public hearing has not been conducted in the affected areas.

Meanwhile, the Odisha Government, in its earlier submission before the NGT said that they would not hold any public hearing in the case till the matter is disposed of in the Supreme Court.

Odisha Government has been opposing the project contending that the dam would submerge 25 habitations in Motu tehsil of the state's tribal-dominated Malkangiri district and inundate around 7,656 hectares of agriculture and forestland.

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