Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Motu (Malkangiri), June 3:
Vehemently protesting the decision of the Centre that has given a green signal to the Polavaram multi-purpose project in Andhra Pradesh, members of the Koya tribal community of Odisha and the neighbouring Chhattisgarh and Telengana have threatened mass agitation.
Over thousands of Koya tribals from the three states along with their leaders congregated at Motu in Malkangiri district on Sunday and expressed apprehension over their displacement if the proposed project is implemented.
Addressing the gathering, J Ramesh Babu of Osmania University of Telengana, while describing the day of the presidential assent to the project as ‘black day’, came down heavily on the Andhra Pradesh government stating that the latter has turned a blind eye to the future of Telengana by taking up the proposed project.
“Over a hundred villages in the low-lying areas would be inundated if the project comes up”, he observed.
In his address, vice president of Odisha Koya Samaj, Ghanashyam Madkami said the project would be a major threat to the future of the Koya tribal community as several villages under Motu, Binayakpur, Alama, Baribanchha and Puspaguda panchayats in Malkangiri district would be inundated.
Expressing grave concern over the approval to the project by the former UPA government and the present NDA government at the Centre, the Koya leaders urged the Centre to immediately stop the project work.
Malkangiri MLA Manas Madkami, who also participated in the meeting, said the Koya tribal community has been forced to take to the street due to pro-Polavaram policy of the Andhra government and the Centre.