Odisha has been putting constant pressure on the Centre, and is the biggest critic of the project.

Polavaram project AP rejects Odishas proposal to halt construction work to meet deadlineFile photo
news News Saturday, October 21, 2017 - 08:43

 

The Andhra Pradesh government has reportedly brushed aside neighbouring Odisha's request, that work on construction of the Polavaram project be stopped until the latter's concerns were addressed.

PTI reported that Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik wrote a letter to his AP counterpart Chandrababu Naidu on October 10, requesting that the construction work of Polavaram be stopped immediately till his state's concerns were addressed.

"The construction work on the project is going on without any further permission by MoEF&CC (Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change) as per record available with the government of Odisha. No efforts have been made to resolve the issues relating to Odisha," Patnaik was quoted as saying.

However, when reporters sought the Andhra government's reaction to the letter, state Water Resources Minister Devineni Umamaheswara Rao said, "We have all the clearances and we will go ahead with the construction. We want to complete the project by 2019. Our opposition parties have been trying hard to get the project stalled but we will not let them succeed."

This came days after Naidu was reportedly 'extremely unhappy' over the progress of the project by the present company, and demanded its expedition.

Speaking to The Indian Express, a top state government official said, “The CM reviews the Polavaram project’s progress every Monday and he is extremely unhappy with the pace of work by Transstroy. The CM wants the project to be completed by 2019 but given the progress so far, it seems unlikely. A show cause notice was issued to Transstroy asking why the contract should not be terminated.”

Though conceptually proposed in 1941, and taken a little further by former Chief Minister T Anjaiah, it was during the term of YS Rajasekhara Reddy that the project began gathering steam.

In 2009, YSR declared that the project would be completed in a span of three years and would irrigate 2.91 lakh hectares.

In its present form, the multi-purpose irrigation project, still has an assessed command area of 2.91 lakh hectares and a power generation potential of 960 MW. 

However, that area is going to submerge 276 villages in Andhra Pradesh and eight villages in Odisha, according to the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), made public by the state over a decade ago. 

All neighbouring states of Andhra have opposed it in some form or the other, with Odisha being the biggest critic of the project.

Odisha has been putting constant pressure on the Centre, claiming that the project is against the interest of the state.

 

Also read:

YSRCP demands probe into alleged irregularities in AP's Polavaram project, TDP hits back

‘They don’t know what we’re losing’: Polavaram affected farmers want fair compensation

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