Bhubaneswar: The issue of Polavaram irrigation project being set up on the Godavari River in Andhra Pradesh and spread across adjoining states on Tuesday rocked the Odisha assembly with both the ruling BJD and Congress opposing the central government’s move to grant assistance for the project.
Raising the issue during zero hour, Biju Janata Dal member Amar Satpathy said while the project issue is sub-judice in Supreme Court and water tribunal and several states including Chhattisgarh and Odisha are protesting it, the decision of the central government to fund for the construction of the project is against the interests of the state.
He said the project would submerge some parts of Malkangiri district affecting around one lakh people in the area.
BJD leaders accused the central government of being unresponsive to its objections on raising the height of the Polavaram project and claimed that thousands of tribals would be affected in Malkangiri district by the project.
Congress chief whip Taraprasad Bahinipati said his party has been protesting the project even during the UPA government at centre and urged all parties to fight against the project.
Bharatiya Janata Party’s Padeep Purohit however, criticised the state government for not having data on how much damage Polavaram project would cause in Odisha when implemented.
Despite vehement opposition from Odisha and Chattisgarh governments against the construction of Polavarm dam project, the central government has released funds to the tune of Rs.345 crore to Andhra Pradesh government for construction of the project as on September this year.
Union Minister of State for Water Resources Sanwar Lal Jat on Monday informed the Rajya Sabha that about 34 per cent of the project is complete at an expenditure of Rs.7,566.58 crore.
Meanwhile, BJD MPs raised the Polavaram project issue in Lok Sabha as well, criticiing the central government for going ahead to implement the project despite opposition of several states.