Govt Must Resume Sompeta Beela, Declare It A Heritage Site

In the light of the recent judgement of the National Environment Appellate Authority (NEAA) cancelling the environmental clearance granted by the MOEF to the Nagarjuna Construction Company (NCC), the Human Rights Forum (HRF) demands that the government initiate steps immediately to see that the wetland (locally known as ‘beela’) in an extent of 972 acres that was alienated in favour of the Nagarjuna Construction Company (NCC) reverts back to the government. The government must also take steps, in conjunction with the AP State Biodiversity Board, to get the Sompeta ‘beela’ area declared as a Heritage Site and appropriate measures put in place to protect this valuable wetland.

The State and Central governments must also initiate steps to see that the ongoing construction by Ms East Coast Energy of a 2,640 MW thermal plant at the Naupada swamps, another vast and precious wetland and marshy swamp in Santhabommali mandal of Srikakulam district, be immediately halted. A thorough probe must be launched into the handing over of both these valuable wetlands for the setting up of thermal plants and action taken against those who have compromised the environmental regulation regime as well as violated various revenue laws. We want appropriate criminal prosecution proceedings to be immediately initiated against the district collector and other officials for willful misrepresentation and distortion of facts.

The NEAA’s judgement vindicates our position since the very beginning that the handing over of ‘Beela’ land in Sompeta mandal by the State government to the NCC was illegal and riddled with gross irregularities. The very idea of constructing a thermal plant in a precious wetland was deeply flawed since it would have destroyed rich biodiversity and subverted livelihood of farmers, fisher-folk and members of the occupational classes.

S Jeevan Kumar
(HRF State president)

VS Krishna
(HRF State general secretary)


Related Posts

Scroll to Top