BJD cries foul after Centre announces to bear Polavaram project expenses

New Delhi: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said the Centre will bear all expenses towards construction of the Polavaram project on Godavari river in Andhra Pradesh.

Announcing a special package for Andhra Pradesh on Wednesday night, Jaitley stated the Centre will bear the expenses of the project with effect from April 1, 2014, when it was declared as a national project.

However, he added the Andhra Pradesh will undertake the construction work of the Polavaram project.

Notably, Odisha and Chhattisgarh state governments are opposing the Polavaram project citing many areas of the states will be affected due to the multi-purpose irrigation project.

The Odisha government had filed a case in the Supreme Court alleging the Polavaram project was ‘illegal’ as public hearing in the areas going to be affected were not undertaken by the Andhra Pradesh government.

Also read: Polavaram row: NGT seeks MoEF report on public hearing

Reacting to the development Samir Dash, BJD spokesperson, said, “Jaitley’s statement is akin to attack on the emotions of people of Odisha. When the matter is subjudice at the Supreme Court and the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has sent a notice to the Centre regarding this, the announcement of the Union Finance minister is unfortunate at this juncture is unfortunate.”

Defending the Centre’s decision Sajjan Sharma, BJP spokesperson, said, “The Centre has not given made any new announcement. As per the decision taken during the UPA regime at the Centre on creation Telengana, Andhra Pradesh was promised to get special status and the Polavaram project is part of the arrangement.”

Attacking on the Odisha government for its stand on the project, Sharma added, “The State government should make clear what kind of loss it would suffer and tell the same to the people of Odisha as well as the centre.”