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Rushikonda project stalled: AP moves SC

Rushikonda project stalled: AP moves SC

The Supreme Court on Thursday took up a special leave petition filed by the Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy government in Andhra Pradesh challenging the National Green Tribunal order which stayed the constructions of Rushikonda Beach Resort project.

The state government filed a petition in the Supreme Court asking for urgent hearing on the NGT order.

It brought to the notice of the court that the NGT had issued ex-party order unilaterally without hearing the state government’s version.

The Supreme Court bench led by Justice Chandrachud, which admitted the petition, directed the registry to list the case for hearing on Monday.

On May 11, the National Green Tribunal (NGT), acting on a petition filed by rebel YSR Congress party MP K Raghu Ramakrishna Raju, ordered an interim stay on the construction works of the proposed tourism project on Rushikonda Hill abutting the beach in Visakhapatnam.

The NGT's Principal Bench in New Delhi also constituted a joint committee to look into the environmental viability of the project and whether Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearances should be revisited. 

"No further construction shall be undertaken till the next date of hearing," the NGT said, while directing the APTDC and MoEF&CC to file their counter. The matter has been listed for July 11.

The NGT's order came even as an earlier committee it had appointed said there were no violations. This committee with members from the Central and State Pollution Control Boards, State Environmental Impact Assessment Authority and Vizag District Collector, reported that the construction was for the tourism project for which Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearance was granted.

Raju, however, alleged that the construction work was being carried out in gross violation of environmental norms.

He also alleged that master plan notified by the Urban Development Department, too, was violated. The petitioner termed the area environmentally sensitive, and said the State should protect it as per its Constitutional mandate.

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