Polavaram project started with Odisha’s consent: Uma Bharati

Bhubaneswar: In the latest evidence that could be termed as the final nail in the coffin in Polavaram case, Union Water Resources minister Uma Bharati on Monday said construction on the multi-purpose irrigation project was allowed after Odisha along with two other states gave consent for this.

The minister was responding to media queries after the Centre through Nabard released Rs. 1,982 crore to Andhra Pradesh towards the irrigation project in New Delhi today. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley handed over the cheque to Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Nadu at an event in the national capital.

“For the project (Polavaram) Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh have given consent. After that only the project was given a go ahead”, she said.

Asked about Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik’s claim in recently concluded State Assembly that the government has sought an injunction suit from Supreme Court against Chhattisgarh’s ongoing and planned projects in upper catchments of Mahanadi, Bharati said his statements are baseless.

“I would say his (Naveen) statements are baseless which have no answers”, she noted.

Patnaik while addressing the House had said he will fight for the rights of the people of Odisha.

“My government will take all out efforts to protect the interests of the people of our state. I am thankful to all the organizations, political parties, farmers’ organizations and individuals who had come forward in large numbers and gave their valuable suggestions. My government will leave no stone unturned to protect the rights of the people of our state in the Mahanadi issue,” Patnaik said.

It is worth mentionable here that the Centre has already released Rs 300 crore for the project in February this year.