Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, July 11:
With the passage of the Andhra Reorganisation Bill allowing merger of some villages and mandals of Telangana with Seemandhra in the Lok Sabha today paving the way for construction of the Polavaram project in Andhra Pradesh, the ruling BJD and Congress in Odisha trained their guns at the NDA government strongly protesting the move of the Centre.
BJD leader Bhratruhari Mahtab said the proposed irrigation project will submerge many parts of Malkangiri district and demanded change in the design of the project.
“Our party is not against the project per se, but against the “arbitrariness” with which the height of the dam was increased that would inundate 307 adivasi villages in Odisha and Chhattisgarh.The project’s design could be altered to ensure that tribals are not affected in any region,” said BJD leader in Lok Sabha adding that the way things were turning out, there was little alternative but to approach the courts.
BJD leader Amar Satpathy said the party will intensify its protest against the project in the days to come.
The amendment bill aims at facilitating smooth resettlement and rehabilitation of those affected by Polavaram multi–purpose project. The amendment will enable land for land in the same revenue division where people are displaced.
However, the Congress, which opposed the move of the NDA government, also left no chance to hit out at the ruling BJD for not taking up the matter seriously.
“We will ensure that the project is not built at the cost of the tribal population of undivided Koraput district,” said Congress Chief Whip Tara Prasad Bahinipati.
Dubbing the BJD’s opposition to the controversial project as ‘shedding crocodile tears’, Bahinipati said Congress would not tolerate if the tribal people suffer in the name of building an irrigation project in a neighbouring state.