Farmers Allege Forceful Consent for Pattiseema Irrigation Project in Andhra Pradesh

Reported by

Surabhi Bhandari

Legal Data by

Edited by

Updated by

Published on

September 20, 2016

September 20, 2016

Updated on

September 20, 2016

Location of Conflict

Pattiseema

West Godavari

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Irrigation Dam

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

91

Households Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

728

ha

Starting Year

2015

State

Andhra Pradesh

Sector

Infrastructure

The Pattiseema lift irrigation project was commissioned in July 2014 and was built by 2016, sidestepping the concerns of farmers whose lands were acquired and of experts who questioned the necessity, viability and feasibility of the project. The project was completed in a record time of two years by interlinking the Krishna and Godavari rivers by diverting surplus Godavari waters into the Krishna through the Polavaram right canal, reaching Krishna at the barrage near Vijayawada. Local residents and activists question the necessity of the project when water availability to Rayalaseema depends on other irrigation projects Handri Neeva Sujala Sravanti and Galeru Nagari Sujala Sravanti, both of which are under construction. Further, there is no assured allocation of water to Rayalaseema. The Pattiseema project is said to be relevant only till the completion of the Polavaram project, after which the equipment used for Pattiseema would be dismantled and used for other projects. The farmers allege that they were not consulted before the start of the project but were forced to give their consent for the same. Eventually, INR 701.41 crore were spent for acquiring 1,798 acres. of land In 2017, the CAG report stated that construction patterns for the dam kept on changing frequently, which resulted in an additional burden of INR 106 crore. Activists and farmers claim that the project is a colossal waste of public money and state that the cost outweighs its benefits. They also accuse the government of spending large sums of money to advertise and promote the project in various events. Experts have also pointed out that proper environmental impact studies were not carried out on mixing river waters, loss of habitat and effect on wetlands and floodplains. In June 2019, RTI queries by environmental activists revealed that the state government did not even obtain an environmental clearance for the Pattiseema project on the ground that it was covered under the environmental clearance granted to the Polavaram project, though there were substantial differences in design, cost and physical specifications. However, on February 20, 2020, a National Green Tribunalappointed committee did not consider the same when it was directed to look into the clearances obtained by Pattiseema and other irrigation projects in Andhra Pradesh. The NGT had sought a report on the same from the government within four weeks.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Opposition against environmental degradation

Refusal to give up land for the project

Complaint against procedural violations

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Private

Type of Common Land

Total investment involved (in Crores):

1300

Type of investment:

Cost of Project

Year of Estimation

Page Number In Investment Document:

Has the Conflict Ended?

No

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Land Acquisition Laws, Environmental Laws

Legislations/Policies Involved

Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013
Section 4(1) [Whenever the Government seeks to acquire land for any public purpose, it shall consult the panchayat in the affected area and conduct a Social Impact Assessment]; Section 4(4)(f) [The Social Impact Assessment shall include a study of all the social impacts of the project and the overall costs imposed by the project viv-a-vis its benefits]; Section 5 [A public hearing shall be conducted at the affected area to ascertain the views of the affected families, which shall be recorded in the SIA Report]
Environmental Impact Assessment Notification, 2006
Clause 2 [All irrigation projects not involving inter-state domain shall require clearance from the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority]; Clause 7(ii) [A fresh environmental clearance shall be obtained for any modernization of existing unit or for any change in the technology or product mix of a project];
Central Water Commission's Guidelines for Submission, Appraisal and Clearance of Irrigation and Multipurpose Projects, 2010
Clause 3.1 [A detailed project report containing the interstate issues of the project, details of land coming under submergence, availability of water, ecological aspects, etc. must be submitted before the Central Water Commission for the clearance of the project]
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    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Whether claims/objections were made as per procedure in the relevant statute

What was the claim(s)/objection(s) raised by the community?

What was the Decision of the Concerned Government Department?

Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:

No items found.

Legal Status:

In Court

Status of Case In Court

Disposed

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

No

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

National Green Tribunal Principal Bench

Case Number

O.A. No. 175/2018

Main Reasoning/Decision of court

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

No items found.

Whether criminal law was used against protestors:

No

Reported Details of the Violation:

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Nature of Protest

Media-based activism/alternative media

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Water Resources Department

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

M/s Megha Engineering & Infrastructures Ltd

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:

Image Credit:  

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