BJD MPs oppose Nabard aid to Polavaram project

New Delhi: Parliamentarians of Biju Janata Dal (BJD) opposed the Centre’s financial assistance for the contentious Polavaram irrigation project being built on Godavari river in Andhra Pradesh .in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.

Replying to a query during question hour, Finance minister Arun Jaitlety said that the national project will get the required financial assistance for construction work from the Centre through funding by Nabard.

Before Jaitley could finish his speech, the BJD MPs created uproar in the house and didn’t allow the former to continue his statement on the matter.

Pointing out that Union Water Resources minister had agreed to a tripartite discussion among governments of Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and the Centre two months ago, they wondered how the government unilaterally decided to fund the project.

The Union government must back off from the move, the parliamentarians demanded.

“We met the Finance Minister and requested him to convene a high level meeting among officials of Chhatisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha to solve the issues pertaining to the project. Jailtley has agreed to this,” BJD MP AU Singhdeo said.

“It is very unfortunate that before all the issues of concerned states are resolved, the Centre has given go ahead to the project. This must be objected by all cutting across party lines,” Congress MP Ranjib Biswal stated.

In December last year, the Centre had said it had released funds to the tune of Rs 345 crore to Andhra Pradesh government for the construction of the project.

“It has been reported overall progress of project is about 34 per cent up by the end of September 2015 with an expenditure of Rs. 7566.58 crore. It has been reported by the State Government that the project is likely to be completed by March 2018,” Union Minister of State for Water Resources Sanwar Lal Jat had said.