Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Dec 11:
The legislators of ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) today submitted a memorandum to Odisha Governor SC Jamir addressed to President Pranab Mukherjee protesting the controversial Polavaram dam project.
The BJD MLAs along with ministers today took out a rally from the Assembly here protesting the dam project which is likely to submerge several Odisha villages.
The members shouted slogans against the Centre with banners and placards in hands and marched towards the Governor House here.
The members submitted a memorandum to Governor SC Jamir addressed to President Pranab Mukherjee seeking his intervention.
The protest against the Polavaram dam project was seen in the state Assembly today also.
As soon as the Question Hour began, the ruling party members rushed to the well of the House and shouted slogans against the Centre in front of Speaker’s podium. The members objected to Centre’s unilateral decision of the multi-purpose irrigation project in Andhra Pradesh which is feared to inundate several villages in Odisha. Following uproarious scenes, Speaker Niranjan Pujari adjourned the House till 3 pm.
As per a state government estimate, the multi-purpose dam over river Godavari would inundate 7756 hectares of land in 15 revenue villages and 10 hamlets of Motu block in Malkangiri district. With this, a total of 6818 people including 5916 tribals would be displaced.
It may be mentioned that Minister of state for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Prof. Sanwar Lal Jat recently told the Rajya Sabha, in a written reply, that the Union government would bear the expenses of the construction of the irrigation project as per Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014.
The expenses incurred after April 1 last year will be borne by the Centre, the minister had said.
Notably, the cost estimate of Polavaram project was fixed at Rs 16010.45 crore of which the Andhra Pradesh government has already spent Rs 5135.87 crore. The remaining Rs 10874.58 crore will be provided by the Centre.
The two states have objected to the clearances granted to the dam, declared a national project, and have petitioned the Supreme Court.