Odisha CM urges PM to stop Polavaram project

Bhubaneswar: Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik today urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to give directions to stop construction of Polavaram project until all the pending issues are finally settled in the Supreme Court.

The move came after the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF and CC) extended the stay on ‘stop work’ order by one-year allowing construction of the mega multi-purpose irrigation project.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today wrote a letter to PM Modi and urged him to personally intervene in the matter and direct the concerned ministry to cancel the extension order.

Citing his concerns on the seriousness of the issue, Patnaik said the completion of the project will lead to submergence & flooding of fertile agricultural land and mass displacement of villagers.

Patnaik further pointed out that despite repeated requests, “the Stop Work’ order on the project has been kept in abeyance on yearly basis from 3.7.2015 to 2.7.2016, from 3.7.2016 to 2.7.2017, from 3.7.2017 to 2.7.2018 and the latest being from 3.7.2018 to 2.7.2019 thereby allowing construction of the project without any change in legal and factual position of the project.”

In the letter, the chief minister said that the multi-purpose irrigation project can be reformulated as per the Godavari Water Disputes Tribunal (GWDT) award without causing greater damage in the states of Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Telengana.

Earlier last month, in another letter, Patnaik had asked the MoEF to stop construction of the project.