WIO slams Union cabinet nod to Polavaram Authority

Odisha Sun Times Bureau

Sambalpur, May 3:

Water Initiatives Odisha (WIO), a leading NGO working in the field of water conservation, has come down heavily against the UPA government’s decision yesterday to clear the constitution of constituting the Polavaram Project Authority (PPA) to pave the way for the execution of the Polavaram irrigation project.Ranjan-Panda-photo-for-Sampad-bhai-e1399103353682

Questioning the timing of the decision, WIO has said the move was ‘undemocratic’ and ‘illegal’.

“This is certainly a move to woo the voters and influence the election process.  We strongly condemn this action of the Union cabinet and urge the Election Commission to take immediate action, under appropriate clauses, against all the cabinet ministers who were part of this decision,” said Ranjan Panda, Convenor of WIO.

The Polavaram project is yet to receive necessary legal and environmental clearances.  There are several cases filed by environmental activists and the state governments of Odisha and Chhattisgarh pending against the project.  The cabinet of the outgoing UPA government therefore has no right to take such a hasty decision at this juncture, he said.

“It has been reported that the proposed Authority will clear apprehensions about the project and instil confidence in both the successor States of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh as also other riparian States of Odisha, Chhattisgarh and carry out the project in a transparent and equitable manner, according to informed sources.  But we have serious doubts about the claim.  The central government under UPA has failed miserably in settling the matters amicably and in a transparent manner.  In fact, it has violated the laws of the land in pushing through this project”, alleged the WIO convenor.Polavaram

Quoting Union Minister for Water Resources Harish Rawat’s statement in New Delhi in April 2013 that “There would be secretary-level tripartite meeting soon among the three stakeholders – Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Chhattisgarh – to iron out differences and facilitate an amicable solution”, WIO asked; “What happened to that promise?  Have the states, objected to this project, already agreed to your proposals?” “Scrap the cabinet decision immediately and wait until the next government is formed for any further developments on this project,” he said.

The Polavaram dam project is going to bring huge ecological and socio-economic destructions and political parties should stop selling false dreams about such unsustainable projects.  Large dams are an outdated concept and the country needs alternatives in smaller structures of power generation and irrigation that would decentralize development and ensure that benefits reach large sections of society in a sustainable manner, Panda said.

“We urge politicians of the Congress and BJP and all other parties who are promising to support the Polavaram project, to show political maturity and talk about sustainable alternatives rather than such mega projects that come with a host of lot of devastative impacts”, said Panda.



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  1. Shivajirao Tipirneni says

    ll the beneficial aspects are throughly discussed in a report by an eminent irrigation Engineer,a former Engineer-in-Chief and an ineinternational consultant,shri T.Hanumantha Rao and it is placed online for the benefit of all educated people who are expected to prove their patriotism under Art.51A[g] on indian constitutionin protecting national Resources for the survival of the present and future generations unlike the politicians who are concernes only with their tenures of membership of legislatures and the parliament.Let people study this report under web sitesgiven below;
    the claim of the government that they have secured all the clearences is very false because the union Ministry has put out a status report on polavaram stating that it has no clearences and hence the work on the
    has been stopped by central Government.see web site:
    The Supreme court has not passed any orders on polavaram Dam project and hence the project stands suspended just because the state and central Governments refuse to design the project to be safe.

  2. Shivajirao Tipirneni says

    under paragraphs 119 and 120 of the Bachawat tribunal report of 1979 the tribunal notified certain changes in the interstate agreement on polavaram project Dated. 4.8.1978 to harmonise with another two agreements dated 7th August 1978 and another agreement dated 15.12.1978 to achieve harmony between all these agreements. Consequently tribunal made modifications for reconciling the above three agreements. In order to highlight these mistakes done in modifying, the following extracts are presented here under with the comments presented ie at the end.
    Paragraph-1 7.(a) Subject to the clearance of polavaram project by the central water commission for FRL/MWL plus 150 ft.the state of Andhra Pradesh agrees that a quantity of 80 TMC at 75 percent dependability of Godavari waters from polavaram project can be diverted into Krishna river above Vijayawada Anicut, displacing the dischargers from Nagarjunasagar project for Krishna delta, thus enabling the use of the said 80 TMC for projects upstream of Nagarjunasagar.
    Paragraph-2 (b) The states of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka agree that the said quantity of 80 TMC shall be shared in the proportion of Andhra Pradesh 45 TMC, Karnataka and Maharashtra together 35 TMC. (c) Andhra Pradesh agrees to submit the poalvaram project report to central water commission within three months of reaching an over- all agreement on Godavari waters among the five party states. (d) Andhra Pradesh agrees to bear the cost of diversion fully.
    Paragraph-3 (e) Maharashtra and Karnataka are at liberty to utilize their share of 35 TMC mentioned in sub-para7(b) above from the date of clearance of the polavaram project by central water commission with FRL/MWL of plus 150ft., irrespective of the actual diversion taking place.( the above 17 lines are part of the agreement dated 4th August 1978.The tribunal wanted to modify the agreement on the basis of the following reasons.In the two following paragraphs.)
    Paragraph-4. Intention of Tribunal to modify agreement of 4.8.1978.
    The central water commission , shall no doubt take care that such lowering of FRL/MWL will be to the minimum extent possible under the circumstances of the case. Taking this view of the matter we are making some modifications as mentioned hereinafter in the Agreement dated the 4th August 1978.
    Paragraph-5 The tribunal has power to modify the Agreement dated the 4th August, 1978 to bring it into harmony with the other two Agreements. The Indus commission while referring to the order of the Government of India made on the most part with the consent of the units concerned observed “If owing to material errors in the original data, or a material change in river conditions, or other sufficient causes, those orders are now found to be inequitable, and if a more equitable arrangements can be discovered in present circumstances, with due regard to the interest of all the units concerned, the original orders may properly be modified. This implies of course that a modification of the orders in one particular may necessitate consequential modifications in other particulars by way of redressing the balance between the several units” . Similarly the Anderson committee recommended that circumstances may arise justifying review of an agreement which is no longer equitable. The committee found that the Satlej Agreement of 1920 required modification and this finding was upheld by the Government of India ( see report of the Indus commission, volume I,p. 120, item26)
    Paragraph-6 Considering all the aspects of the matter, we direct that the Agreement of the 4th August , 1978 between the states of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh be modified as follows:-
    “In clause 7 (a) after the words FRL/MWL plus 150ft” and in clause 7 (e) after the words FRL/MWL of plus 150ft” , the following words be added:-
    (a) principal amendment
    “or such other FRL/MWL as the central Water commission may find necessary and Technically feasible , keeping in view that as far as possible (i) all the areas of the state of Andhra Pradesh mentioned in the polavaram project Report of May, 1978 and polavaram project stage 1 of March 1978 are brought under irrigation (ii) the other benefits mentioned in the said Reports of the state of Andhra Pradesh are realized, and (iii) water to the extent of 80 T.M.C. or more is diverted to the river Krishna”.(The tribunal made further modification as noted below)
    (b) Supplementary amendment
    “After clause 7 (a) the following proviso’’ be added
    “Provided that the excess submergence over and above the natural submergence due to all effects including backwater effect on account of the construction of the polavaram Dam does not exceed the limits mentioned in the Agreement dated the 7th August 1978 between the states Of Maharashhtra, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh and the Agreement dated the 15th December 1978 between the states of Andhra Pradesh and Orissa or in any other agreement that may be entered into here after”.
    Paragraph -7
    In our final order, the Agreement dated the 4th August , 1978 between the states of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh shall stand amended as aforesaid.
    Paragraph-8 comments : Errors committed by Tribunal.

    1. The first paragraph deals with the transfer of 80T.M.C. of water from Godavari into Krishna river, so that this 80T.M.C. can be drawn from storages above Nagarjuna sagar for utilization for 45 T.M.C. BY Andhra Pradesh 22 T.M.C. by Maharashtra and 13 T.M.C. BY Karnataka.
    2.Second paragraph deals with the remaining clauses under section 7 of the agreement dated 4.8.1978.
    3.The third paragraph shows the intension of the tribunal; to modify agreement dated 4.8.1978 to bring it into harmony with the other agreements of 7.8.1978 and 15.12.1978.
    4.The intension of tribunal to modify agreement of 4.8.1978.
    5.The fifth paragraph deals with the reasons adduced by the tribunal to take power to modify the agreement of 4.8.1978.
    6.The sixth paragraph deals with the principal and the supplementary amendment of agreement dated 4.8.1978.
    7. The seventh paragraph deals with the promise of the tribunal to incorporate the above modifications in the final order regarding the agreement of 4.8.1978.
    1.The tribunal failed to in corporate a statement that their award can also be modified for the same reasons, stated in paragraph 4 above.
    2.The tribunal failed to incorporate both the principal and supplementary amendments in the final order of the tribunal.
    3.As promised under paragraph seven the tribunal failed to incorporate the principal and supplementary amendments in the agreement dated 4.8.1978 in their final order. 4.The tribunal failed to incporporate the principal and supplementary amendment in the agreement dated 3.4.1980 as per the condition (iii) of the principal amendment.

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