Writ Petition Nos. 17368,17705,18020, 19067, 19717 & 27095 of 2005

Writ Petition No. 17368 of 2005

In the result, the writ petitions are disposed of in the following terms:

  1. The construction of Polavaram Project does not per se violate Clause VI of the Bachawat Award, provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, Fifth Schedule of the Constitution and the provisions contained in Section 242-F of the Andhra Pradesh Panchayat Raj Act, 1994. However, the construction of dam would be subject to clearance by CWC and approval of the Central Government in terms of Section 2(ii) of the 1980 Act.

  2. The CWC shall, with in a period of three months from the date of recipt of a copy of this order, take final decision in terms of Clause VI (1) of the Bachawat Award. With in this period, the Central Government shall dispose of the application made by the State Government in terms of Section 2 (ii) of the Forest (conservation) Act, 1980.

  3. If the CWC does not approve the project with in three months, then the State Government shall be free to avail appropriate legal remedies. Similarly, if the Central Government declines approval interms of Section 2 (ii) of the 1980 Act, then 7500 acres of forest land shall not be used for implementation of the project. However, the State Government shall be free to avail appropriate legal remedies agaist the refusal, if any, of the Central Government.

  4. The State Government shall not displace the people from 276 villages, which will get submerged in Polavaram dam and those living in the Scheduled Areas, which are affected by implementation of the project, without giving complete effect to the rehabilitation policy. This would necessarily mean that before the dam is filled and the villages are submerged, the affected persons will have to be rehabilitated, re-settled and compensation paid in accordance with the policy.

  5. Wherever the State Government acquires land, it shall take possession only after payment of compensation to the land holder in accordance with Section 17 (3-A) of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894. This would necessarily mean that no person shall be dispossessed from the land without prior payment of compensation in terms of that section.

June ,2007 

G.S. Singhvi, CJ
R. Suhash Reddy, J