ANDHRA PRADESH

Fears over submergence threat from Polavaram project

KHAMMAM, AUG. 21. The threat posed by the Polavaram project to tribal habitations in the Bhadrachalam and Palvancha revenue divisions in the district evoked concern from almost all members at the governing body meeting of the Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA) here today.

They wanted the Government to minimise the problem of submergence by lowering the height of the proposed dam on the Godavari. In all, 242 villages in Khammam district would be affected. A majority of them are tribal hamlets perched along the river course in the Bhadrachalam division. Since rehabilitation and resettlement of tribal communities would be an uphill task, MLAs from the sub plan area of the district urged the Government to spare tribals from the suffering. Some of them felt that environmental problems also could be addressed to some extent by minimising inundation.

Action plan

The governing body approved an annual action plan of Rs. 14.87 crores for the project. The ITDA had proposed to support grounding of 17,151 units under various Government programmes.