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23 Mar 2019, 03:41 HRS IST
  • PTI
  • Patnaik demands cancellation of MOEF order on Polavaram

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0:15 HRS IST

Bhubaneswar, Jul 12 (PTI) Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today demanded cancellation of Tuesday's order of the Ministry of Environment & Forests and Climate Change that allowed construction of the controversial Polavaram project.

"I would earnestly request you to kindly intervene in the matter and give directions to cancel the order dated 10.07.2018 of MoEF & CC and to stop the construction of the Polavaram project until all the pending issues are finally settled in the Hon'ble Supreme Court," Patnaik wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The July 10 order of the MoEF & CC kept the stop work order in abeyance till 2019.

The chief minister said the Polavaram project can be "reformulated" as per the Godavari Water Dispute Tribunal (GWDT) award without causing large scale submergence in Odisha, Telangana and Chhattisgarh.

"If the project is allowed to be completed before the resolution of the pending issues, it will cause permanent injury to the interest of the state of Odisha and its people," Patnaik said in the letter.

He said this is not for the first time the MoEF & CC issued such an order.

"I would like to mention here that the stop work order is being kept in abeyance on yearly basis i.e from 03.07.2015 to 02.07.2016, from 03.07.2016 to 02.07.2017, from 03.07.2017 to 02.07.2018 and the latest being from 03.070.2018 to 02.07.2019, thereby allowing the construction of the Polavaram Project without any change in legal and factual position of the Polavaram project," the letter read.

Patnaik apprehended that the construction of Polavaram project is likely to be completed within the period given by the ministry causing submergence in the Malkangiri district.

The chief minister said the construction of embankment requires diversion of forest land and will adversely impact the tribal villages and the population in Malkangiri district.

Besides, there would be flooding of fertile agricultural land, mass displacement of villagers, and all these could be avoided if only an opportunity is given for a final resolution as per the GWDT award, he said in the letter.

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