BJD MLAs favour a censure motion against Centre over Polavaram project

The issue was raised by senior BJD MLA and former minister Amar Prasad Satpathy in the Assembly.

Bhubaneswar: With the Centre extending funds towards construction of the Polavaram project in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, the ruling BJD members on Tuesday threatened to move a censure motion against the NDA government for allowing such an "anti-Odisha" unit.

The issue was raised by senior BJD MLA and former minister Amar Prasad Satpathy in the Assembly. He criticised the NDA government for funding a project that would lead to submergence of houses and agricultural field of tribals in Malkangiri district.

"Let there be a censure motion against the Centre in the Assembly as the NDA government too adopted the policy of the previous UPA government on Polavaram prorject which is anti-Odisha. The project is being encouraged by the Centre without holding public hearing both in Odisha and Chhattishgarh," Satpathy said adding that Kashipur and Gunupur area would be completely submerged after implementation of the Polavaram project.

Satpathy pointed out that though three states like Odisha, Telengana and Chhattishgarh would be badly affected by the project, the Centre was funding the project for the benefit of only one state. He urged Speaker Niranjan Pujari to activate the House Committee of Polavaram project and convene an all party meeting on the subject.

He said about 2,000 hectares in Odisha would be affected by the Polavaram irrigation project as the authorities have increased the dam height despite Odisha's opposition.

BJD member Samir Ranjan Dash, Ranendra Pratap Swain and Dambaru Sisa also supported Satpathy's proposal of bringing a censure motion against the Centre over the project. Congress member Taraprasad Bahinipati also supported the BJD members's demand while BJP member Rabi Narayan Naiak said that the Odisha government had not so far estimated the possible loss due to the project.

The issue was raised in Assembly a day after the Union Minister of State for Water Resources Sanwar Lal Jat told the Rajya Sabha about the Centre's funding to Polavaram project.