Odisha Sun Times Bureau
New Delhi, Aug 13:
Eight villages in Odisha, four in Chhattisgarh and 276 in Andhra Pradesh are likely to be submerged due to the Polavaram dam project, Union Environment minister Prakash Javadekar said in the Lok Sabha in a written reply on Wednesday.
“An area of 3427.52 hectares of only forest land in Andhra Pradesh is projected to be inundated. 276 villages in Andhra Pradesh, four villages in Chhattisgarh and eight villages in Odisha are likely to be submerged,” the minister said.
Javadekar made the statement while replying to a question whether the government had conducted environmental impact assessment of the Polavaram dam project and the villages and forest land which are likely to be submerged and destroyed by it.
The minister said an environment management plan (EMP) had been prepared to mitigate the impact of the project on the catchment area, biodiversity, aquatic life, health and the people among other aspects. An environment impact assessment (EIA) study had been conducted in accordance with the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification 1994, which is mandatory for environmental clearance (EC), the minister said.
Environmental clearance (EC) to the Polavaram multipurpose project was accorded on 25 October, 2005 in accordance with the EIA Notification 1994, Javadekar said.
Replying to another question, he said EC cases are dealt with as per procedure prescribed in the EIA Notification 2006.
This notification had been amended from time to time based on experience gained and with a view to further rationalizing the process. He said the latest notification had been issued on June 25 amending the EIA notification 2006 thereby delegating more powers to the state level environment impact assessment authorities (SEIAAs) for granting EC and further streamlining the process.