BJD workers demonstrate against Polavaram

Staff Reporter

They demand scrapping of the project undertaken by Andhra Pradesh Government

‘A large extent of land in Orissa will be submerged under the project’

Centre showing step-motherly attitude towards Orissa: BJD

BHUBANESWAR: Hundreds of Biju Janata Dal (BJD) activists here on Saturday staged demonstration in front of Governor House demanding scraping of the Polavaram project undertaken by Andhra Pradesh government over Godavari River.

Polavaram is a multi-purpose project that envisaged irrigation to 7.21 lakh acres in Krishna, West Godavari, East Godavari and Vishakhampatnam districts. However, Orissa and Chhatisgarh governments have been objecting to the project saying it would lead to submergence of huge area in their respective State boundary.

“National Council for Economic Research (NCAER) has ascertained that the project will submerge a large area comprising 60,063 hectares in Andhra Pradesh, 2,398 ha in Chhatisgarh and 1,230 ha in Orissa,” Priyadarshi Mishra, BJD secretary, said here.

He said, “around 30 settlements in eight revenue villages in Malkanagiri district will be submerged under the project. About 300 families are apprehended to be displaced by the project. Moreover, about 13,700 acres of agricultural land, two schools and one primary health centre (PHC) will also be submerged.”

BJD workers charged that although Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had written a series of letters to the Centre highlighting the problem to be caused by the project, the Union government was adopting a step-motherly attitude towards the State.

“Technical Advisory Committee of the Central Water Commission (CWC) has strangely approved the Polavaram project without taking into confidence the neighbouring affected States such as Orissa and Chhatisgarh for the reason best known to them. They have not even consulted the affected people of both the States, although it is legally incumbent upon them to do the same,” they said.

Prakash Chandra Bastia, district president of BJD, pointed out that the project proposal was also not shown green signal by the National Environment Appellate Tribunal, Orissa High Court and Goadavari Water Dispute Tribunal as necessary regulations were fragrantly violated.

BJD workers alleged the entire exercise o Andhra Pradesh government was carried out in collusion with the Congress-led UPA government.

Andhra Pradesh government should be restrained to go ahead with on this project for the benefit of innumerable tribals and common people of Orissa and Chhatisgarh. The memorandum was addressed to President Pratibha Patil. Bhubaneswar Mayor Anant Narayan Jena also participated in the demonstration.

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