New Delhi: In utter negligence towards the lives of around 6,000 people which are going to be affected by the controversial Polavaram project, the Union government has refrained from taking cognizance of the several pleas of the state seeking a ban on the project.
While speaking in the Rajya Sabha, Monday, Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat refused to answer Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MP Sasmit Patra’s supplementary question on the controversial Polavaram project citing that the matter is pending in the Supreme Court.
“Since the matter is pending in Supreme Court, I think we should not comment on it here,” said Shekhawat.
Earlier, Sasmit Patra had asked a supplementary question in the Rajya Sabha seeking the minister’s response on the state’s plea over Polavaram project.
“Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, has repeatedly written to the Centre specifying that about 6,000 people, including tribals, will lose their land in Odisha due to large-scale submergence. Thousands of hectares will get affected. No Gram Sabhas have been conducted in Odisha. People have not been consulted,” Patra said.
He also said that since the project is being expedited, it is going to have a huge impact on the people of Odisha.
“But, till now, redressal has not been done. The case is pending in the Supreme Court. The ministry is proceeding with the work without taking it into consideration,” Patra added.
It is to be mentioned here that the state of Odisha has filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking stay on the Polavaram project citing that the project will lead to submergence of huge area in the state of Odisha and displace over 6,000 people especially tribal. The state of Odisha also submitted in their petition that the project is proceeding without environment clearance as public hearing was not conducted in Odisha. Similar petitions have been filed by Chhattisgarh and Telangana in the apex court.