The National Green Tribunal (NGT), Southern Zone has appointed a joint committee to look into allegations of unauthorised construction activity taking place in Mekedatu, where the Karnataka government had proposed to construct a dam across the Cauvery River.
Acting suo motu based on a media report, NGT has directed the panel to submit a report on or before July 5.
“If the project is to be implemented without conducting any environmental impact assessment study and without obtaining necessary clearance, if any required, then it will be an unauthorized act affecting the environment,” the NGT said, adding that it will get the jurisdiction of intervening on the issue.
Considering the allegations made in the news report, “we are satisfied that there arises a substantial question of environment, which requires the interference of this Tribunal,” it added.
The NGT also directed the joint committee to assess the damage caused to the environment in case of any construction made and determine the compensation payable by the respective authorities who are responsible.
The Principal Chief Conservator of Forest, Department of Forests, State of Karnataka will be the nodal agency for coordination and for providing necessary logistics for this purpose, it added.
The NGT has issued a notice communicating its decision to the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change, Department of Water Resources, Central Water Commission, Cauvery Water Management Authority, Chief Secretaries of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, among others.