Pattiseema, the much-publicised lift irrigation scheme of the previous Telugu Desam Party government headed by N Chandrababu Naidu, will come to a halt at least for a few months, if the YSR Congress party government headed by Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy follows an order given by the National Green Tribunal.
The tribunal on Tuesday directed that the state stall three lift irrigation schemes Pattiseema, Purushottapatnam and Chintalapudi constructed by the TDP government on Godavari river as part of the Polavaram major irrigation project.
The NGT bench gave the order acting on a petition filed by former Congress minister Vatti Vasanth Kumar, YSRC leader Trinath Reddy and 11 others.
Interestingly, the NGT also withheld all the works pertaining to inter-linking of Godavari-Krishna-Penna river proposed during the TDP regime at a cost of Rs 84,000 crore.
Apparently, none of these schemes had obtained necessary environmental and forest clearances. The NGT bench said the government could not go ahead with the projects unless it obtained all necessary clearances.
The bench did not agree with the Naidu government’s argument that Pattiseema and Purushottapatnam lift irrigation schemes were not independent projects, but part of the Polavaram major irrigation project.
While Pattiseema project was constructed on Polavaram right main canal, Purushottapatnam was built on left main canal to provide irrigation to the ayacut of the Polavaram project.
It said the lift schemes were conceived as it will take another four years for the completion of Polavaram project. They were not independent projects as they would use already existing canal structures.
“Once Polavaram project is completed, the two lift schemes will not be used and the equipment could be used elsewhere,” the Naidu government argued.