Noted environmentalist Prof T Shivaji Rao today supported demand for holding public hearing for the Polavaram dam project which is expected to affect 1.8 lakh people in tribal areas of West Godavari district and submerge large tracts of land in Orissa.
He said in a statement that he was amused over the controversy over the holding of public hearing.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister K Rosaiah has ruled out public hearing of the project in the neighbouring Orissa which will be affected by the dam project.
Mr. Rao said Mr. Rosaiah’s opposition to public hearing in Orissa amounted to violation of Environmental Protection Act and its regulations.
The demand of Orissa to hold public hearing on environmental impact of Polavaram project in the submerging areas of Orissa is legally valid and justified from the point of view of constitutional right of the tribals, he observed.
He said to resolve this controversy, the Union Minister for Environment can appoint an independent agency to conduct the public hearing in Orissa and Chattisgarh, parts of which would also be affected by the project.