Dilip Tirkey demands rehab of Polavaram oustees

New Delhi: Rajya Sabha member Dilip Tirkey on Thursday urged the Centre and the Andhra Pradesh government to solve the problems relating to the rehabilitation of the villagers of Odisha to be affected by the upcoming Polavaram multi-purpose dam in the neighbouring state.

Raising the issue during zero hour in the Upper House, he said he has no objection to the ongoing Polavaram project on Godavari river. But the Centre and the Andhra Pradesh government should solve the problem of rehabilitation of the would-be displaced outstees before going ahead with the project work.

Taking a dig at the Andhra Pradesh government, Tirkey said the neighbouring state has unilaterally decided to release 50 lakh cusecs of water from the proposed dam which would inundate thousands of tribal villages in the southern Odisha districts, especially the Malkangiri.

“This will not only force the poor tribals to leave their native land, they would also lose their livelihoods as their agricultural land will also be submerged if the Andhra Pradesh government sticks to its decision,” he pointed out.

Maintaining that release of excess water from the dam will have an adverse effect on the environment and ecology, Tirkey said the Centre and the Andhra Pradesh government must give priority on these issues at the earliest before the project comes up.