Upper Bhadra: HC asks State to file objections

 The High Court on Monday directed the State Government to file objections in connection with a petition seeking a stay on the ongoing works of Upper Bhadra Project to irrigate lands in Chitradurga and Kolar districts.

The petitioner, H S Neelakantappa, had moved the High Court seeking a stay on the project, contending that the project had been taken up without any clearance from the Union Government.

The petitioner, who filed an interlocutory application on Monday, said that the project is constructed at Chikmagalur, where 5015.37 hectare of non-forest areas and 230 hectare of  forest land are utilised for constructions.

Pointing out that the Bhadra wildlife sanctuary is situated just 2.5 km away from the project site, he alleged that there is no clearance from Union Government under the Forest Conservation Act and, the project is socially unjust as the land losers are from Chikmagalur and Tarikere while the beneficiaries are farmers from Chitradurga and Kolar.

The division bench comprising acting Chief Justice K Sreedhar Rao and Justice Abdul Nazeer said: “Such large projects are not viable and should not be taken up.”

The bench observed that importance should be given to drinking water projects as they are more important than irrigation ones and, directed the State Government to file objections within seven days.

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