Stop Polavaram project: Odisha MP in Rajya Sabha

New Delhi: BJD’s Rajya Sabha MP Sasmit Patra today raised the issue of Polavaram multi-purpose irrigation project in Rajya Sabha and demanded that the Centre should stop the construction work.

Through a Special Mention Notice in the Upper House of Parliament, Patra highlighted that due to Polavaram project, 6818 people including 5916 tribals will be displaced in Motu Tehsil of Malkangiri district of Odisha.

Polavaram project was provided Environmental Clearance in 2005 without public hearing in Odisha and in February, 2011, the Ministry of Environment and Forests stopped construction work through a “Stop Work Order”. But surprisingly and shockingly, this order has been kept in abeyance through repeated extensions and construction work has been allowed, the MP said.

Chief Minister of Odisha sent repeated letters to Centre in 2015, 2017, 2018 and recently on July 1, this year demanding that the construction of Polavaram project be stopped till the verdict of Supreme Court is received in this matter, which is presently pending. Keeping “Stop Work Order” in abeyance till 2021 will perpetuate permanent damage to Odisha and about 6000 tribals would face large scale submergence of their agricultural lands, forest area and destruction of their habitat and livelihood, he said.

Patra demanded that the Centre should stop the construction of Polavaram project and await the verdict of the Supreme Court in this matter. Further, the Polavaram project should be reformulated as per Godavari Water Disputes Tribunal which would ensure that large scale submergence of Odisha would not take place in Motu tehsil of the state’s Malkangiri district, he added.

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