The Purushothapatnam Lift Irrigation Project (PLIP) is all set to be handed over to the State government by the contractor Megha Engineering Infrastructure Limited (MEIL) by the month-end as per schedule.
Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu had inaugurated the project on August 15, 2017, and it was constructed with ₹1, 638 crore in two phases to cater to the irrigation and drinking water needs of East Godavari, Visakhapatnam and part of North Andhra region.
The Principal Bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has issued notices to East Godavari Collector, A.P., Telangana, Odisha and Chhattisgarh governments along with the Polavaram Project Authority to respond to a petition filed by two farmers from Seethanagaram mandal of East Godavari — M. Ramachandra and Madicharla Satyanarayana.
In their petition, they said that PLIP was taken up without environmental and hydrology clearances, rehabilitation, resettlement and inter-State agreements. They also said the State government has taken up PLIS without conducting any statutory Environmental Impact Assessment and Social Impact Assessment as per the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013. When contacted, Superintending Engineer of Polavaram Left Main Canal, S. Yadav, said that the government will take appropriate decision on this issue as the matter is pending in the court. He said that the government will submit a detailed report to the National Green Tribunal and the High Court on this.
On the other hand, about 72 farmers of Seethanagaram mandal, where the PLIP was constructed filed a case in the High Court to get ₹28 lakh per acre which was paid to 80 farmers in accordance with R and R Act, 2013. “The government has shown discrimination in paying compensation as well as R and R package to farmers. It has offered only ₹17.50 lakh per acre to 72 farmers and ₹28 lakh to 80 farmers who have given land for the PLIS,”said Tummalapalli Arun, district secretary of the CPI(M).
Apart from this court cases and NGT directions, the water will be supplied to over 2.15 lakh acres in Rajanagaram, Peddapuram, Prattipadu, Pithapuram, Jaggampeta and Visakhapatnam city from first or second week of July through PLIP.
“Our job is over and will hand over the project to the government by June 30 as per the schedule. However, we will maintain the project for five years as per the contract agreement,” said Rangarajan, vice-president of MEIL.