Centre claims Polavaram project will benefit Odisha, BJD disputes

Bhubaneswar: In a fresh turn to the dispute over Polavaram project, the Union Minister of State for Water Resources, Sanjeev Balyan said that the project undertaken by Andhra Pradesh government will benefit Odisha.

In a written reply to BJD MP Balabhadra’s question in Parliament, Balyan made this remark. Based on the information provided by the Andhra Pradesh government, Balyan replied that there is no need to acquire forest land for protective embankments on Saberi and Sileru river. The project has been approved under inter-state agreement as a part of Godavari Water Dispute Tribunal.

After the completion of the project, Odisha will receive 142 cubic million water. This will help Odisha to irrigate 30,000 hectare land or provide water to 30 lakh people.

However, as per Odisha government’s argument the project will submerge 25 villages along with 7,600 hectare land and will affect 6,800 tribal people.

Also Read: BJD kick starts signature drive over Mahanadi, Polavaram issues

“The design of the project has been changed and the height increased due to which Odisha will suffer huge losses. Rather than responding to these changes, the Union minister is giving incorrect information,” said BJD spokesperson, Surya Narayan Patra.

Chief whip of the Opposition party Tara Prasad Bahinipati said “There is no way that Odisha is going to benefit from the project. This is a ploy by the central government to fool Odisha. The Union minister has furnished incorrect information.”