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Mettur-Sarabanga lift irrigation project

Topics Covered: different types of irrigation and irrigation systems.

Mettur-Sarabanga lift irrigation project:


National Green Tribunal has allowed the Tamil Nadu government to proceed with the Mettur-Sarabanga lift irrigation project and has dismissed an application seeking a stay on the project.

What’s the issue?

  • The application claimed that prior environmental clearance was not obtained before work for the project commenced.
  • It also alleged irregularity in the construction of the project and said the project was envisaged in total disregard of riparian rights of the delta farmers.
  • Also, since the project involved the interests of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala, clearance from the Central government was required.

What has the NGT said?

  • The proposed irrigation area under the project was 4,238 acres of land, which was less than 2,000 hectares and as per the amended 2018 EIA Notification, the project fell under the category of minor irrigation systems that are expressly exempted from the requirement of environmental clearance.
  • Besides, the water received from Karnataka was only being regulated and that water from the Mettur dam was not being shared by any two States and was being utilised only for the benefit of Tamil Nadu. Hence, there was no necessity for obtaining permission from any other authorities.

About the Project:

  • Being implemented by Tamil Nadu Government.
  • The project is aimed at irrigating 4,200 acres of land in Edappadi, Omalur, Sankagiri and Mettur taluks, diverting surplus water from Mettur reservoir through 100 tanks, lakes and ponds.

Sources: the Hindu.