Bhubaneswar: Members in Odisha Assembly, cutting across party lines, Friday urged Speaker SN Patro to constitute House Committee to apprise Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the construction of multipurpose Polavaram project on river Godavari by Andhra Pradesh government.
The members also appealed to the Speaker to convene an all-party meeting to discuss the Union government’s planning to extend the construction work of multipurpose Polavaram project on the river Godavari by two more years.
Raising the issue during the Zero Hour, Debi Prasad Mishra (BJD) said it is a plan to give Andhra Pradesh two more years to complete the project despite strong opposition by the Odisha government.
Condemning the efforts, Mishra also demanded the Speaker to constitute a House Committee to look into the matter.
He said the project, on completion, would submerge a large track of forest and revenue villages in the tribal dominated Malkangiri district.
The Andhra Pradesh government changed the design of the project and arbitrarily increased the height of the dam without making any arrangement for the backwater management and rehabilitation of the tribal people likely to be displaced due to the project.
The Opposition and treasury bench members opposed the Centre’s plan to put a stay for two years on the ‘stop work’ order of the National Green Tribunal (NGT).
The stop work order was also postponed earlier thrice in 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18. Last time the order was postponed from July 3, 2018 to July 2, 2019, they said.
Mishra said the Union government is likely to sanction around Rs 55, 548 crore to take up the construction work of the project further.
Taraprasad Bahinipati (Cong) said the people of the area have no idea as to how much land would be submerged and how many people would be displaced by the project.
He suggested the Speaker to constitute a House Committee and visit the area.
Bahinipati demanded the Speaker to allow four-hour discussion on the issue to put pressure on the Central Government and to seek time to meet the Prime Minister to put forth the demand of the state government.
Prafulla Samal (BJD) and his party colleague Arabinda Dhali and Subash Chandra Behera also supported the demand for the constitution of a House Committee.