Orissa to draw attention of SC on lacunae in panel report

Bhubaneswar: The state government on Wednesday said it would draw attention of the Supreme Court towards some `deficiencies` in the Gopalkrishna Committee submission in the wake of panel`s reports that construction of Polavaram dam in Andhra Pradesh was in conformity with Godavari Water Dispute Tribunal Award.

Official sources said the state government`s reaction over the project came after the apex court asked it and Chhattishgarh to file responses to the recommendations made by the Gopalkrishna Committee.

"We will certainly respond to the Supreme Court within one-and-half month on the observations made by the Gopalkrishna Committee," Water Resources Secretary Suresh Chandra Mohapatra said.

Stating that the committee seemed not to have taken note of Orissa`s objections to Polavaram prorject, Mohapatra said the very design of the multi-purpose dam was not acceptable to the state.

A large number of tribal villages in Malkangiri district would be submerged if Polavaram dam was allowed over river Godavari, the state government maintained.

This apart, Mohapatra said the committee had apparently accepted the Andhra Pradesh government`s argument on the volume of flood water discharge from Godavari river without considering objections raised by the state government.

While there is a separate specification for a dam over Narmada river, the committee took another stand for Polavaram prorject over river Godavari even as the catchment area of the later was bigger, he pointed out.

On embankments on Orissa side as proposed by Andhra Pradesh government to contain discharge of flood water to Orissa teritory, Mohapatra admitted that there were a number of embankments in the state. However, none of them had been located at the upper catchment areas of any reservoir.

"The embankments should always be allowed in lower catchment area of reservoir in order to reduce submergence," he said adding that the state government could not accept the observations of the Gopalkrishna Committee recommendations due to "some lacunae" and "deficiencies" there.