Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi stating that if the project on Godavari river in Andhra Pradesh continues then it will cause "permanent injury" to the interests of Odisha.
"If the project is allowed to be completed before the resolution of all the pending cases, it will cause permanent injury to the interest of the state of Odisha and its people," Patnaik said in a letter to PM Modi.
His letter comes in response to the Environment Ministry`s decision to extend the construction of the Polavaram Multipurpose Project. The Chief Minister had written several letters to the Prime Minister in the recent past, warning the Centre of severe environmental consequences in his state if the project is allowed to be completed.
Echoing similar concern, Patnaik urged Modi to intervene in the matter and give directions to "stop" the construction work of the project. "I would earnestly request you to kindly intervene in the matter and give appropriate direction to stop the construction work of the Polavaram Project immediately until all the pending issues are resolved," the letter read.
Patnaik`s government has been opposing the project for its design which could pose danger for Odisha. "Once the project is completed there will be impounding of the reservoir and it may not be possible to change the design and operating parameters of the project thereafter," he said.
Urging the centre to wait for a final resolution of the dispute, the Chief Minister wrote, "I would like to reiterate that if the construction work on Polavaram Project is not stopped forthwith, it will have immense adverse impacts on people living in the tribal district of Malkangiri in Odisha. The submergence of the large extent of forest area would be of irreversible consequences".
The Chief Minister also pointed out that Odisha`s pleas were ignored on the matter and public hearing on the project has not been held till date. Stating that the issue can be avoided if an opportunity is given for a final resolution pending before the Supreme Court, he said; "Polavaram project can be reformulated as per the Godavari Water Dispute Tribunal award without causing large scale submergence in Odisha, Telangana and Chhattisgarh".
Polavaram Project is an under-construction multi-purpose national project on the Godavari River in Andhra Pradesh. It is designed to overcome the deficit in water in the country. The project is entirely funded by the Centre and is also known as National River-Linking Project.