The rejoinder by Andhra Pradesh related to EC granted to HNSS and GNSS irrigation scheme, 11/02/2022
Rejoinder of Andhra Pradesh in the matter of Gutha Gunasekhar & Others Vs Union of India, 11/02/2022. The matter related to environmental clearance granted to the Handri Neeva Sujala Sravanti (HNSS) and Galeru Nagari Sujala Sravanti (GNSS) lift water scheme.
The HNSS project would irrigate 2.438 lakh ha besides supplying drinking water stated the counter affidavit filed by the MoEF&CC. Under GNSS project an extent of 1.052 lakh ha would be irrigated besides supplying drinking water to chronically drought affected areas of Rayalseema region comprising of Anantapur, Kurnool, YSR Kadapa and Chittoor districts and the quantum of utilization under these projects are 40 TMC and 38 TMC respectively.
Even though works commenced more than 15 years back, the threshold limits under the projects could not be achieved, more particularly in the tail end areas, which would serve chronically drought prone areas in Chittoor district to an extent of 7761 sq kms.
Andhra Pradesh has sought to re-engineer the projects by connecting both the schemes through pipeline without increasing the Ayacut under both the schemes put together and without increasing the quantum of water utilization. Thus, there is no change in the scope of the project at all and the contemplated utilizations under these projects are partly achieved. In the absence of any increase in the contemplated Ayacut and the proposed utilization by virtue of re-engineering the project, cannot be termed neither 'a new project' nor 'expansion nor modernization' of the existing projects which have 'prior environmental clearance'. No fresh environmental clearance or prior environmental clearance is required.