Polavaram issue: Ruling members criticize Centre

Bhubaneswar: Ruling BJD on Saturday expressed discontent over Andhra Pradesh government’s lackadaisical attitude for not furnishing the names of independent experts to the joint expert committee as directed by Supreme Court.

The ruling members said the Andhra Pradesh government’s response exposes the double standards of the latter. Under what circumstances the AP government did not recommend the names of the experts?, the members questioned.

Moreover, this is indirectly supported by the Centre, the members alleged.

“The UPA and the Government of Andhra Pradesh have shown indifference towards us and is taking a partial decision in favour of Andhra Pradesh. The Centre has not fulfilled its responsibilities towards the state,” BJD MLA Sanjay Das Burma said.

On the other hand, the Opposition Congress members said the ruling party should not politicize the issue. The government should move a motion in this regard and invite for discussion, the members added.

“The state should discuss the issue instead of involving in a blame game against the Centre,” Opposition Chief Whip Prasad Harichandan said.

It may be noted here that after the apex court directive on March 3, the state government promptly recommended names of three independent experts to study the environment and other related impact of controversial Polavaram irrigation project.

Odisha had suggested three names for the committee– Anil D Mohli, former chairman of the Central Water Commission, Prof (retd) Permumal of IIT Roorkee and Prof (retd) A K Gosain of IIT Delhi. Odisha had moved an application in October last year for quashing the clearance granted by the Environment Ministry to the project which it fears would inundate several parts of the state, particularly Malkangiri district.

On Friday, the higher court rapped the Andhra Pradesh government for not giving the names of the experts and posted the next hearing to Monday.