HC deadline for govt. to act on GO 111

Court wants TS govt. to take a call on HPC report

Telangana High Court on Thursday instructed the High Power Committee, constituted by State government to examine GO 111, to present its report by September 13.

A bench of Chief Justice Hima Kohli and Justice B. Vijaysen Reddy, which has been hearing for past three days a batch of petitions on matters relating to GO 111, directed the State government to study the HPC report and take a call on the report by September-end. The HPC report should be put on the website of the Municipal Administration and Urban Development department contemporaneously.

The HPC, which is chaired by Chief Secretary, should specifically focus on the report submitted by the Environment Protection Training and Research Institute (EPTRI). The Institute had given the report in 2006 with regard to the non-catchment area under Osmansagar and Himayathsagar.

The bench instructed the government to study the HPC report in the backdrop of the non-catchment areas declared by the EPTRI in its second report and take action on it. The decision of the government should be circulated and uploaded on the website.

The HPC chairperson (Chief Secretary) should file an affidavit within a week to abide by the terms, conditions and the timelines mentioned by the bench. “The HPC gets disbanded if it fails to submit the report as per the timeline mentioned by this court,” the CJ declared.

If the committee did not present the report as per the deadline, the parties relying on the EPTRI report would be at liberty to seek appropriate relief, the bench said. Earlier, when Additional Advocate General J. Ramchander Rao began presenting his contentions, the CJ sought to know what was the time period of the HPC.

Reading out the GO relating to creation of the HPC, the CJ said as per it, the committee should have presented its report within 45 days. “After that said period, the committee is automatically disbanded…it cannot be there forever…” the CJ observed. The AAG contended “the committee was in force according to the government” and assured that the government “will take it seriously now”.

In that case, it amounted to admitting that the government was not serious all these days on the matter, the CJ said. Eventually, the bench granted time of four weeks for the HPC to present its report. However, the time began from August 13 when the government filed an affidavit stating the HPC would submit the report within four weeks.

The matter was posted to October 4 for next hearing.

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