Odisha Sun Times Bureau
New Delhi, Nov 18:
The approval of Polavaram project is in accordance with the provisions of Inter State Agreement and it will serve drinking water requirement of 30 lakh people in Odisha, Union Minister of State for Water Resources Sanjeev Kumar Balyan has said.
Balyan said so yesterday replying to an unstarred question on clearance to Polavaram project submitted by Biju Janata Dal Nabarangpur MP Balabhadra Majhi.
In his question, Majhi had asked whether any forest land in Odisha and Chhattisgarh is likely to be affected due to construction of the protective embankments for Polavaram project. Besides, he also asked whether consultations were made with State Governments of Odisha and Chhattisgarh before granting clearance to Polavaram project.
In his reply, Balyan explained, “As intimated by Government of Andhra Pradesh, no forest land is required for construction of protective embankments along the Rivers Sabari & Sileru in the territories of Odisha & Chhattisgarh.”
“The approval of Polavaram project is in accordance with the provisions of Inter State Agreement which is the part of the Godavari Water Dispute Tribunal (GWDT) award. As per the award, states of Odisha and Chhattisgarh are to opt for either payment of compensation or for protection of areas by protective embankments with adequate drainage sluices”.
He further explained the benefits of Odisha and Chhattisgarh from the project and added, “Odisha is to get about 142 Million Cubic Meter (MCM) of water annually which is likely to provide irrigation in about 30,000 ha of area or serve drinking water requirement of about 30 lakh population or a mix of both. Chhatisgarh will get about 43 MCM of water annually which is likely to provide irrigation in about 10,000 ha of area or serve drinking water requirement of about 10 lakh population or a mix of both”.