Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressing concern over the ongoing construction work of the Polavaram project on river Godavari in Andhra Pradesh until all pending issues are resolved.
Patnaik in his letter, said: “In the context of Polavaram project, I have addressed letters dated 16.09.2015, 23.11.2017 and 12.07.2018 to the Prime Minister, wherein I have mentioned that the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF and CC) has kept the “Stop Work Order” in abeyance from time to time without informing the state.”
The Chief Minister also requested to give directions to the Environment, Forest and Climate Change Ministry to cancel the July order for Polavaram project.
The Ministry has kept the “stop work order” in abeyance from July 3, 2018 for a year citing the assurances given by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu that the reservoir of the Polavaram project will not be impounded without the permission of the Ministry.
He also assured that changes in the design parameters will be taken care of based on the results of public hearing.
The Ministry has kept the “stop work order” in abeyance from time to time without informing Odisha, said Patnaik.
“In this context, it is not understood how the impounding of reservoir will not take place once the project is completed. Further, it is to mention that it will not be possible to change the design and operating parameters of Polavaram project after the completion of the project,” he added.
Patnaik said the Polavaram project can be reformulated as per Godavari Water Disputes Tribunal (GWDT) award without causing large-scale submergence in Odisha, Telangana and Chhattisgarh.
“If the project is allowed to be completed before the resolution of all the pending issues, it will cause permanent injury to the interest of the State of Odisha and its people,” said the Chief Minister.
State government sources claimed that the project, in its current design, would submerge 25 villages in Motu tehsil in Malkangiri district and inundate around 7656 hectares of agriculture and forest land in the district.