Odisha not to hold public hearing for Polavaram affected areas now

Bhubaneswar: Odisha government has informed the Andhra Pradesh government it would not hold public hearing in the areas that stand to be affected by the Polavaram project in the neighbouring State.

In a letter written by Odisha Pollution Control Board Member Secretary to Andhra Pradesh Water Resources Principal Secretary, a copy of which is in possession of OTV, Odisha government said a public hearing would not be proper at this stage as the matter is premising before the Supreme Court.

Odisha government will take a decision on the public hearing once the apex court gives a directive on the Polavaram matter, the letter added.

Earlier, the National Environment Appellate Authority (NEAA) had cancelled the environment clearance to the Polavaram project as public hearing was not held in the affected areas as per the law. However, the Andhra Pradesh High Court suspended the directive of the NEAA.

Odisha government also mentioned about the Andhra Pradesh High Court’s decision in the letter.

Notably, the Centre had asked Andhra Pradesh government to conduct public hearings along with Odisha and Chhattisgarh for the affected areas. Therefore, Andhra Pradesh government had sought a view from Odisha government.

Odisha and Chhattisgarh are opposing the Polavaram project.

More than a hundred villages of 21 panchayats in Malkangiri district will be submerged due to the Polavaram project.