NGT Gives Clean Chit To Telangana Secretariat Demolition Project

The National Green Tribunal’s (NGT) joint committee on the 17th of March, gave a green signal to Telangana Secretariat demolition. 

A. Revanth Reddy, the Working President of the Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) filed a petition in the Supreme Court (SC) against the Telangana Secretariat demolition. In his petition he said, the Telangana Government violated the prescribed norms and demolished the secretariat adding to environmental pollution. Later, the SC refused to entertain the petition and instructed the petitioner to resolve the issue with the NGT in Chennai.

On the 17th of March, the NGT reviewd all the reports submitted by a formed committee and gave a clean chit for the demolition.

In September 2020, the NGT formed the committee, which inspected the site. The committee said when they visited Hyderabad to inspect the demolition site, the operations of demolition and transportation of construction and demolition (C and D) waste to the waste treatment facility were over. However, with the help of records furnished by the Roads and Buildings (R and B) Department and the Telangana State Pollution Control Board (TSPCB,) collected the data and studied. After studying the same, they said the Telangana Government took enough care of preventing environmental pollution while the demolition work and did not violate any environmental law.

According to the report submitted by the committee, 1.14 lakh metric tonnes (MT) of C and D waste was transported to the Hyderabad C and D Waste Private Limited at Jeedimetla where 33,590 metric tonnes was already processed for recycling till September 2020.

Dismissing the allegations of Mr. Revanth Reddy, the Committee said Hussainsagar is not classified under the Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2017. According to the rule, if any river is classified as Wetlands, the full tank level (FTL) boundary needs to be fixed and no construction or development activity should be allowed inside the FTL of the water body. However, Hussainsagar is not classified as a wetland and as per a 2012 rule, the construction of any building is prohibited in 30 m from the FTL of a lake. The Hussainsagar is 80 meters away from the old Secretariat and there is no way the C and D waste could pollute it.

Neither of the charges made by the Indian National Congress (INC) Member of Parliament (MP) Revanth Reddy was correct.

In 2019, KCR, the Chief Minister of Telangana, laid the foundation for the new Secretariat. The new secretariat is designed on wide land of about 4 lakh square feet. The total budget for the construction is around Rs. 400 crores including state art. Later, on the 7th of July, the Telangana Government began demolition of the old Secretariat building complex in Telangana.

Meanwhile, the NGT directed the State Government to file a counter affidavit in the matter. The next hearing in the matter is scheduled for the 12th of April.

Stay tuned for further updates.

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