Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Dec 31: The controversial Polavaram project in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh neither has environmental clearance nor clearance of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, alleged Odisha government here today.
The state government further alleged that no palli sabhas were conducted in the areas to be affected by the upcoming project though it being mandatory under the provisions of the law adding anomalies existed in the Centre according national project tag to Polavaram project.
“They don’t have environmental clearance. They even don’t have clearance from the Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA). Palli sabhas have not been conducted in any of the villages. We have cited these in our report. In the report we have cited what we had pointed out earlier and in addition have added the new developments in the report,” said Water Resources secretary P K Jena to reporters here today, while informing that his department has submitted a report on Polavaram project to the House Committee.
Notably, the Odisha Assembly’s House Committee on Polavaram has written to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) for an appointment on any day between December 27 and January 18 to meet the Prime Minister and apprise him of the latest status/recent developments on the Polavaram project. The House Committee will seek a direction from the Prime Minister for conducting palli sabhas in the villages in Odisha that would be affected/ submerge.
Prior, to the House Committee leaving for Delhi to meet the Prime Minister, it will meet to deliberate and finalize a memorandum that will be submitted to the Prime Minister.
It may be mentioned here that while all five Congress members of the House Committee on Polavaram have resigned, all the three members from the BJP have announced that they will not participate in any of the future meetings of the Committee. The opposition Congress and BJP claimed to have taken the decision alleging politics by the BJD over the Polavaram issue. While the Assembly was in session on December 11, BJD MLAs had met the Governor on the Polavaram issue and had submitted a memorandum to the President of India through him. The ruling party’s move was protested by the opposition Congress and the BJP. The parties claimed that while the House Committee was deciding on the future course of action in the matter why the BJD went alone without taking them into confidence.
A delegation of BJD MPs on December 17 had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and had urged him to intervene in the Polavaram issue. The MPs had also demanded withdrawal of national project tag to the project.
It’s apprehended the Polavaram project on completion will submerge 26 tribal villages in Odisha affecting 6,818 persons out of whom 5,916 are tribals. At least 7656 hectares of cultivable land will be submerged due to the project.