Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik (File Photo)
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik (File Photo)

Patnaik appeals to PM Modi to stop construction of Andhra's Polavaram Project

ANI | Updated: Nov 21, 2018 21:52 IST

New Delhi [India], Nov 21 (ANI): Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to halt the construction of the Polavaram irrigation project on the Godavari River, warning of severe environmental consequences in his state if the project is allowed to be completed.
In a letter addressed to the Prime Minister, Patnaik stated that the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF & CC) has often temporarily suspended the 'Stop Work Order' without informing the Odisha government.
"If the project is completed before the resolution of all the pending issues, it will lead to a situation which will submerge a large amount of forest area and fertile lands along with the submergence of a number of villages resulting in the displacement of primitive tribal population in the Malkangiri district of Odisha," he argued.
Patnaik said that the initial clearance for the project was given on October 25, 2005. However, due to a change in the scope of the project, the MoEF had in February 2011 directed Andhra Pradesh government to not commence the construction work until the further appraisal of the project by the ministry.
The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) president stated in his letter that on the request of his Andhra Pradesh counterpart, the 'Stop Work Order' was kept in abeyance on a half-yearly basis in 2013 and 2014, and on yearly basis from 2015 to 2019.
He also said that contrary to media reports, "it will not be possible to change the design and operating parameters of the Polavaram Project after the completion of the project." (ANI)