The National Green Tribunal has asked the Odisha government, Ministry of Environment and Forest, to file their reply within four weeks as to why the injunction will not be granted in respect of ongoing construction work of Lower Suktel irrigation Project in Bolangir district. Talking to reporters here , social activist Prafulla Samantara said the NGT heard a petition filed by Satya Narayan Banchhor, a project affected person and Balkrishna Sendha, has issued notices to the state water resources department.
The matter was heard by Justice Pratap Kumar Ray and Professor P. C. Mishra. The petitioners contended that the validity of environment clearance granted in 1998 has lapsed because of non-commencement of construction work within five years of granting of clearance. The work has started since April 2013 and it is illegal said the petition. Samantara said the project is to acquire over 5000 hectres of land including 637 hectre forest land. He said 4160 families will be affected by the project. The social activist alleged that the work had commenced in the presence of armed police.