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Orissa not to allow land to be submerged by Polavaram

Hardening its stand against the controversial Polavaram project in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, Orissa government today said it would not allow land within the state`s boundary to be inundated due to the project.



Bhubaneswar: Hardening its stand against
the controversial Polavaram project in neighbouring Andhra
Pradesh, Orissa government today said it would not allow land
within the state`s boundary to be inundated due to the
project.

"We will not allow any area of Orissa to be inundated due
to Polavaram project. We have been opposing the project in the
neighbouring state since the beginning," Chief Minister Naveen
Patnaik told reporters here.

He was reacting to Congress President Sonia Gandhi`s
reported assurance to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, K Rosaiah
on the Centre`s plan to accord national project status to
Polavaram.

Gandhi in a letter to Rosaiah has assured that her office
would follow up the matter. National status to the project
would mean that a bulk of the project cost would be borne by
the Centre.

Inordinate delay in execution of Polavaram Project has led
to steep escalation of project cost from about Rs 12,000 crore
to over Rs 17,600 crore now.

Sonia`s assurance to Rosaiah has come as a blow to Orissa
as the chief minister during his recent Delhi visit had urged
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to withdraw forest and
environmental clearance to Polavaram project as it would
submerge vast areas in the state`s Malkangiri district.

"A large number of people within Orissa will be severely
affected if Polavaram project is allowed over the Godavari
river in Andhra Pradesh," Patnaik claimed, adding that a huge
chunk of forest land would also be submerged due to the
project in the neighbouring state.

First envisaged by the British in 1941, the Polavaram
project aims to construct a dam on the Godavari River and
divert large quantities of water through a 174-km link canal
to the Krishna River.

While the ruling BJD has been opposing the Polavaram
project, Congress MP, Pradeep Majhi has also voiced his
objection.

"About 25 villages in my constituency are likely to be
inundated by Polavaram project according to the state
government`s report.

"Therefore, I am opposed to the project," Majhi had
told reporters here after chief minister lodged a complaint
with the Prime Minister on August 23.

Meanwhile, BJD has planned a series of agitations against
the UPA government over the project, terming it "anti-Orissa".

PTI

From Zee News

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