Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Oct 14:
Odisha government has filed an affidavit in the National Green Tribunal (NGT) seeking stop work on the controversial Polavaram project.
The state government made its submission in response to a notice of the NGT.
The state government has cited in the affidavit that the Central government despite issuing orders for stop work in different phases has been indirectly extending support to the project. The state government has further stated that no public hearing was held for the project in Odisha.
“Government of India has given extensions to the project two-three times after issuing of stop work order. They are giving extensions from time to time. They are indirectly helping for completion of that project. We have already informed the NGT through an affidavit that without Supreme Court’s permission public hearing cannot be conducted,” informed Suresh Mohapatra, Secretary Forest and Environment department of the state.
The NGT is likely to conduct the hearing on the matter on October 16 or 17.
On the other hand, after according national project status to Polavaram project, the Central government has given assurance to fund the project.
While the Centre had sanctioned Rs 250 crore for the project in 2014-15, it has sanctioned Rs 600 crore in 2015-16. Further, it has assured to provide additional Rs 3,305 crore in 2016-17 for the project.
Construction of the project is going on in full steam after it was accorded national project status and assurance for full financial support from the Central government.
The NGT had served notices to Andhra Pradesh, Central and Odisha governments after an Andhra Pradesh-based NGO filed a petition in this matter.