Odisha to raise Polavaram issue at NWRC meet

Bhubaneswar: Opposing the multi-purpose Polavaram project in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, Odisha government on Friday said it would raise the issue at the National Water Resources Council (NWRC) meeting slated to be held in Delhi on October 30.

"We will take up Polavaram issue at the meeting convened by the prime minister," Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said before leaving on a six-day visit to New Delhi.

Stating that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has convened a meeting of chief ministers of various states, Patnaik said he would attend the convention and put forth issues relating to the state.

Besides the Prime Minister, the union water resources minister, the Andhra Pradesh chief minister and others are likely to attend the October 30 meeting.

Patnaik said the state government had been opposing the proposed Polavaram project for a long time. Besides writing several letters to the prime minister, the state government has filed two cases in the Supreme Court seeking a halt to construction works of the project.

Claiming that vast areas in Odisha's Malkangiri would be submerged with operation of the proposed project over river Godavari, the state government alleged that its views were not taken into consideration before Andhra Pradesh government began construction work for the project.

Besides, the project developers did not conduct public hearing violating the stipulated norms, claimed the state government that had rejected Andhra Pradesh's offer of construction of a protection wall in the river in Odisha side.

"The state government has asked Andhra Pradesh to provide detailed data on design and possible impact of the project on tribals of Malkangiri, said a senior official.