CPI (M) State secretary B.V. Raghavulu on Tuesday alleged that the State government proceeded with the tender process of Polavaram project without seriously studying the alternative plans proposed by the technical experts to reduce submergence and protect large tracts of tribal and forest lands from flooding.
Addressing a press conference here on Tuesday, Mr Raghavulu deplored that the government did not even bother to give a serious thought to the alternative proposals put forth by the CPI (M) to reduce flooding of tribal lands.
The alternative plan encompassing viable technically feasible suggestions like reducing the height of the dam of Polavaram project and construction of tunnels and balancing reservoirs to minimise displacement besides saving money and time, he said, adding the Supreme Court had earlier advised the government to study the alternative plan.
Mr Raghavulu said if the project was allowed to be constructed as per the original design, it would not only cause extensive submergence of the tribal lands but also prove counterproductive in terms of huge expenditure involved in it.
Although the Central government came up with a draft Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation, and Resettlement Bill, the State government chose to award Polavaram project construction works without completing the rehabilitation process for rendering justice to over two lakh tribal people bound to be displaced by the project, he criticised.
He demanded that the government should examine the alternative plan and redesign the project accordingly.
On the plight of the farmers, he reiterated his demand for declaration of drought-hit mandals and sanction of compensation forthwith.
The government should waive the crop loans of all the distressed farmers to help them overcome the present crisis, he demanded.
CPI (M) central committee member T Veerabhadram, district secretary P. Sudarshan Rao, and executive committee member N Nageswara Rao were among those present.