New Delhi: Union Minister of State for Water Resources, Sanjeev Balyan today informed the Lok Sabha that the controversial Polavaram project is in an advanced state and it will not be feasible to stop it right now.
While replying to BJD MP, Balabhadra Majhi’s question on the project, Balyan also told that the project was based on the 1980 agreement between Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
Raising the Polavaram issue, Majhi questioned as to how the project was declared as a National project by the Centre without conducting ‘Palli Sabhas’ or ‘Gram Sabhas.’
“I cannot understand how the project work is going on without conducting a Palli Sabha in Odisha and Chhattisgarh. This is against the Constitution. My question is how the work is going on without Palli Sabha,” said Majhi.
Replying to Majhi, Balyan informed the house that on June 2, 2016, a meeting was called by the Water Resources ministry and the two states were informed about public hearing.
“The project was declared a National Project in 2014. The project is in progress. Around 221 villages of Andhra Pradesh are affected by the project. Till now, the public hearing and Gram Sabhas are yet to begin in Odisha and Chhattisgarh. A meeting was convened on June 2, 2016 and the governments of the two states were told to begin public hearing as soon as possible because the project is in an advanced stage. The matter is also sub judice in Supreme Court. The three state governments had agreed on the project in 1980. Hence, it won’t be right to stop this project at this stage. But at the same time, if there are any problems that will be faced by Odisha or Chhattisgarh, then the Central government will extend all help,” said Balyan.