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Respond to Odisha’s plea on Polavaram project: SC instructs A.P.

A view of the Polavaram project in West Godavari district.

A view of the Polavaram project in West Godavari district.  

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Odisha is apprehensive that the construction of the dam by neighbouring Andhra and the spillway would result in the submergence of considerable amount of its territory, including protected tribal areas.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday gave the Andhra Pradesh government two weeks to respond with complete details on a plea made by Odisha on the construction of the Indirasagar Polavaram multi-purpose project.

Odisha raised concerns about the project and the conduct of the Centre in not informing the State on the issue of ‘stop work order’ being kept in abeyance periodically leading to the unhindered continuation of the project work.

The State is apprehensive that the construction of the dam by neighbouring Andhra and the spillway would result in the submergence of considerable amount of its territory, including protected tribal areas. It fears that proper environmental assessment and studies were not conducted on the backwater extent in the Sabari and Sileru parts of Odisha.

The State has further maintained that the Polavaram project on the Godavari river was in violation of the Godavari Water Dispute Tribunal award.

In June 2019, the Union Environment Ministry gave two years of extension and allowed the construction works related to the poject.

The Centre had stressed that the project was “important to the people of Andhra Pradesh as it would irrigate nearly three lakh hectares of land, generate hydel power with installed capacity of 960 MW and provide drinking water facilities to 540 en route villages, particularly in Visakhapatnam, East Godavari and West Godavari and Krishna districts.

In 2011, the UPA government had asked Andhra Pradesh to stop construction work. However, in 2014, the NDA government declared it a national project. The Ministry had repeatedly kept the ‘stop work order’ in abeyance.

The project envisages the construction of an earth-cum-rock fill dam across the Godavari. The maximum height of the dam would be 48 metres.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2020 11:19:43 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/respond-to-odishas-plea-on-polavaram-project-sc-instructs-ap/article30570793.ece

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