Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, July 15:
The opposition Congress and BJP put the Naveen Patnaik government on the mat today for crying hoarse against the Polavaram multipurpose project without backing up its objections with relevant facts and figures.
“We are completely in the dark over how the Polavaram Dam project is going to affect the state. We do not know as to how many people are going to be displaced in the tribal villages and how much land is going to be submerged in the backwaters of Polavaram Dam”, said Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra in the state assembly during the zero hour.
Mishra asked the government to furnish detailed information on the probable impact of the project on Odisha and hold a discussion on the matter.
Similarly, BJP state president K V Singhdeo stated that the state government must place facts and information on the possible impact of Polavaram project on the state for the MLAs’ knowledge and inform them of the discussions between the ministerial team of the state and Andhra Pradesh government in 2002 held at the project site.
“We will stand by the state government if the Polavaram project actually has any adverse impact on the tribals of Malkangiri. But let the state government first place facts and data on the possible impact of Polavaram project”, said BJP state president K V Singhdeo.
“We will stand by the state’s claim even though the central government has passed a Bill in this regard. BJP stands for the interest of Odisha so far as Polavaram project is concerned” he added.
Cutting across party lines, members in the Odisha assembly expressed concern over the passage of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill in both the houses of the Parliament, which has paved the way for construction of the Polavaram project over Godavari River despite Odisha’s opposition.
While opposition members blamed the BJD government for not providing them with adequate information on the project, they said they were ready to fight for the state’s interest.
Ruling party members Ranendra Pratap Swain, Samir Das and others supported the opposition’s demand on the white paper.
The height pf the Polavaram Dam has been increased arbitrarily without taking Odisha government into confidence in violation of the Godavari Water Dispute Tribunal Award and it is also not in conformity with national standards and norms, alleged BJD MLA from Barchana Amar Prasad Satpathy.
Government Chief Whip Ananta Das said BJD had no objection to the proposal of setting up a House committee on Polavaram project.