Orissa to wait for apex court verdict on Polavaram

Friday, November 12, 2010

BHUBANESWAR - Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Friday said his government will wait for the Supreme Court verdict on the controversial Polavaram dam project, to be built by Andhra Pradesh on river Godavari, to chalk out its future course of action.

“We will wait for the judgment of the Supreme Court. Then we will see what needs to be done,” Patnaik told reporters here.

The Rs.12,000 crore Polavaram multipurpose project has been planned on river Godavari in Andhra Pradesh. If built, it will be south India’s biggest dam, providing irrigation to 7.19 lakh acres in that state.

The Orissa government first moved the Supreme Court after the central environment and forests ministry granted interim approval to the project in 2008.

The state government knocked on the door of the apex court again in September this year after the union environment and forests ministry granted final approval for diversion of 3,731.07 hectares of forest land for the project.

Chhattisgarh and Orissa fear that after completion of the project, in case of floods, the back water of the Godavari on which the dam would be built will flow into its tributaries Saberi and Sileru in Orissa and Chhattisgarh and submerge dozens of villages.

Andhra Pradesh has said it will put embankments on the river but Orissa says it will not help.

The project ran into more trouble after the union environment and forests ministry earlier this month questioned Andhra Pradesh for beginning work on the project without holding public hearing in Orissa and Chhattisgarh.

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