To-be displaced people demand halt to Polavaram work
Koraput: People likely to be displaced by the Polavaram project being undertaken by the Andhra Pradesh government have demanded immediate stoppage of work on the project, during a national-level rally organized in Koraput in which affected people from 4 states participated.
According to sources, around 4 lakh people from Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Telengana will be displaced by the project. More than hundred of villages under Kalimela, Padia, Korkunda, and Mathili blocks will be affected. The protestors are demanding immediate halt to the project work and a proper survey of the areas affected by it.
“The Polavaram project is not for farmers but for industries. India does not need Polavarm project. Our protests for the rights of the displaced people will continue,” said convener of Lokashakti Abhiyan, Prafulla Samantray.
“This project is an attack on tribals. The matter is pending in Supreme Court. We will fight till the end,” said president of All India Kishan Mazdoor Sabha, Palli Venkatramaiya.
As per Odisha government’s argument, the project will affect 25 villages, 7,600 hectares of land and 6,800 tribals of the State. While on the other hand, the Union Minister of State for Water Resources Uma Bharti, based on the data provided by the Andhra Pradesh government, said “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.”
In the meantime, the ruling-BJD in Odisha has pledged its support to the displaced people.
“Obviously, we are with the displaced people and it is because of them Odisha is continuing to fight against the project,” said BJD spokesperson, Samir Dash.