Naveen urges Union Minister to stop Polavaram project work

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Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday requested the central government to stop the construction work of Polavaram project immediately till the issues pertaining to the state are resolved.

In a letter to Union Environment and Forest Minister Harsh Vardhan, Patnaik said the Polavaram irrigation project will affect a large number of tribal people if the works were completed without resolving the pending issues.

The CM said the construction of the Polavaram project is in violation of the Godavari Water Dispute Tribunal (GWDT) and it is being constructed without correctly assessing the backwater extent in Sabari and Sileru limbs in Odisha.

He said the Ministry of Environment and Forest kept the ‘stop work order’ in abeyance from time to time without informing Odisha which would be severely affected by the construction of Polavaram project. Patnaik said the project is being constructed without correctly assessing the backwater extent in the Sabari and Sileru limbs in Odisha.

The Chief Minister said Odisha had filed a case in the Supreme Court challenging the Polavaram project in 2007 and the case is still sub judice. He added that the environmental clearance given to the project in 2005 was invalid as it was given without conducting any public hearing in Malkangiri district in Odisha which would be severely affected by the project.

He said the National Environmental Appellate Authority (NEAA) on December 19, 2007 had set aside the environmental clearance given in favour of Polavaram project and ordered for holding the public hearing in affected areas of Odisha and Chhattisgarh.

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