Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, May 7:
The Odisha government has decided to move the Supreme Court protesting the decision of Union Cabinet for setting up an autonomous Polavaram Project Authority (PPA) to expedite the process of environmental and investment clearances for the controversial Polavaram multi-purpose project in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh.
Water Resource secretary Suresh Mohapatra told reporters here today that the government will file a petition in the apex court challenging Centre’s decision to set up the Authority while the controversial project issue is still sub-judice in the court.
The Polavaram Project Authority (PPA), which will function under the Union Water Resources Ministry, is meant to fast-track the project by clearing all hurdles, legal or otherwise.
However, the project is still under litigation at the apex court and the PPA is least likely to achieve any significant results unless the matter is settled by the court.
The Odisha government had first moved the Supreme Court after MoEF had given its interim approval for the project in 2008.
Later, it had filed another petition in the Supreme Court opposing the Centre’s decision to give an environmental nod for the Rs 10,000-crore Polavaram power project proposed to come up on the Godavari river in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh.
The state government had contended that Andhra Pradesh had no right or entitlement to undertake or proceed with the project on the Godavari river. It had also stated that embankments were not permanent solutions to effectively contain submergence during floods.
According to the state government’s estimates, the project is likely to submerge 2119.38 hectares of land in the Naxalite-affected tribal areas in Malkangiri district.