post news network
Bhubaneswar, Dec 31: The state government Thursday claimed that the controversial Polavaram project, which is being taken up by Andhra Pradesh government with support from the Centre, never obtained clearances from the ministries of tribal affairs and environment.
“No clearances have been obtained from the Union tribal affairs and environment ministries for the Polavaram project,” water resources secretary PK Jena told the newsmen at the Secretariat here Thursday.
The Centre has extended its full support to Andhra Pradesh to go ahead with the controversial irrigation project declaring it as a ‘national project’ and sanctioned crores of rupees for the purpose.
Jena said palli sabha was also not conducted in the areas that are likely to be submerged if the project takes off.
Clarifying the media about state government’s stand on Polavaram, the water resources secretary said, “Our department has recently submitted a report on Polavaram to the House Committee.”
The committee on Polavaram has sought an appointment with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss the issue. The committee has requested the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to fix an appointment with the PM between December 27 and January 18.
The committee will apprise Modi of the status of the project and submit a memorandum seeking his intervention for conducting palli sabhas in tribal villages that are likely to be affected by the project. The state government has also prepared a draft memorandum on the basis of a survey conducted by the water resources department which will be submitted to the PM.
According to the memorandum, 25 habitations (15 revenue villages and 10 hamlets) will be submerged and 7,656 hectares of land (3,469 hectares of reserve forest land, 2,069 hectares of village forest and 2,046.36 hectares of cultivable land) will be inundated if the AP government raises the height of the dam to 220 feet. The draft memorandum also states that a total of 6,818 people, including 5,916 tribals, will be displaced due to the project.