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Sunday, September 20, 2015

Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik urges Modi not to allow construction of Polavaram Project

Bhubaneswar : 20/September/2015 

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has urged the Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to allow construction of the Polavaram Project as it will harm the interests of Odisha as the project is being taken up without addressing the legitimate concerns of the State.



Mr.Patnaik writing a letter to the Prime Minister Mr.Modi has expressed serious concern over Polavarm Project, which is being taken up unilaterally by the Government of Andhra Pradesh even the matter is pending in the Supreme Court.

Chief Minister has said that the Polavaram Project does not qualify to be considered as a National Project as it does not satisfy the norms. Sadly the Union Government has considered the Polavaram as a National Project, officials say.

Impressing upon the Prime Minister about the magnitude of the consequences that people of Odisha will have to face like submergence of tribal lands, the flooding of fertile agricultural lands, mass displacement of villages, Mr.Patnaik said that all of these can be avoided if only an opportunity is given for a final resolution of disputes as the case is pending before the Supreme Court.

Chief Minister Mr.Patnaik said that the Polavaram Project can be reformulated as per the Godavari Water Dispute Tribunal (GWDT) Award without causing large scale submergence in the States of Odisha, Chhatishgarh and Andhra Pradesh, taking into consideration of the constructed projects operating in the Command Area of Polavaram, the on-going Pattiseema project, which is nearing completion to transfer water to Krishna Basin and pther alternatives proposed by some eminent engineers of Andhra Pradesh.

Chief Minister has pointed out that Andhra Pradesh Government has unilaterally taken up the Polavarm Project even before obtaining the clearance of Central Water Commission (CWC) on plans and design that are in violation of GWDT Award and as such not agreed by the States of Chhattisgarh and Odisha.

As per the final order passed by the GWDT, it has been advised that the matter of design of the dam and its operation schedule shall be left to the CWC, which they shall decide keeping in view all the Agreements between the parties including the Agreement of 2 April, 1980 as far as practicable.

Besides above the clearance glaringly ignores the fact that this project was originally designed for a spillway capacity of 36 Lakh Cusecs with a prescribed reservoir operation schedule. This was agreed upon with anticipation that upstream project like the Ichampalli project will moderate floods.

However, the design flood has been unilaterally revised to about 50 Lakh Cusecs by CWC, he pointed out.

He pointed out that the Project work is going on without conducting any Public Hearing in the State of Odisha, which is mandatory for getting any environmental clearance, and when the matter is Sub-Judice.

Chief Minister has revealed that even the Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MOTA) has purportedly cleared the Project based on the provision of embankments of about 30 Kilometers stretch inside Odisha territory to prevent submergence of tribal villages within Odisha without taking the views of the State Government into consideration.


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