Staff Reporter

ELURU: The CPI (M) on Monday disputed the claim of Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy that the State Government had got the go-ahead from the Supreme Court for restoration of the Indira Sagar Project works. During his Praja Patham programme at Dubacharla in West Godavari district on Sunday, Dr Reddy stated that the decks were cleared by the Supreme Court for the project while describing the anti-dam protesters as `evil forces'.

CPI (M) district committee secretary Mantena Sitaram accused the Chief Minister of making misleading statements, involving the judiciary. In a bid to drive his point home, the party leader issued a press release supported by a copy of the latest orders issued by the Supreme Court while taking up a hearing on a bunch of petitions relating to the dam on April 25.He quoted the Supreme Court as having observed in its order, "We (the bench) make it clear that the State can proceed with the paper work and no authority shall grant any sanction as the matter is subjudice before the High Court".

Wrong interpretation

He regretted that the State Government was getting ready for the re-start of project works in non-forest area with a wrong interpretation of the Supreme Court when the latter accorded permission for only paper work.

The CPI (M) leader took strong exception at the Chief Minister's description of tribals facing displacement as evil forces for their agitation for a change in the project design. It may be recalled that the people in the scheduled areas from Khammam, East and West Godavari districts were agitating with a demand for an alternative design in such as a manner that it could reduce the extent of loss.

He warned that any attempt by the Government to start the project works without clearance from the Ministry of Tribal Welfare on displacement of tribals and the other clearances would be met with an intensified agitation.