Polavaram issue: BJD threatens to move censure motion against centre

BHUBANESWAR: A day after the union government informed that it has granted Rs 345 crore to Polavaram irrigation project being set up on the Godavari River in Andhra Pradesh and spread across adjoining states, the ruling BJD members on Tuesday threatened to move a censure motion against the NDA government for allowing such an “anti-Odisha” unit.

Both the ruling BJD and Congress opposed the move of the Centre to grant assistance for the project.Polavaram

The issue was raised by senior BJD MLA and former minister Amar Prasad Satpathy in the assembly. He criticised the NDA government for funding a project that would lead to submergence of houses and agricultural field of tribals in Malkangiri district.

“Let there be a censure motion against the centre in the assembly as the NDA government too adopted the policy of the previous UPA government on Polavaram project which is anti-Odisha. The project is being encouraged by the centre without holding public hearing both in Odisha and Chhattishgarh,” Satpathy said.

He said Kashipur and Gunupur area would be completely submerged after implementation of the Polavaram project.

Satpathy pointed out that though three states like Odisha, Telangana and Chhattisgarh would be badly affected by the project, the Centre was funding the project for the benefit of only one state.

Congress chief whip Taraprasad Bahinipati said the Odisha Congress has been protesting the project even during the UPA government at the Centre.

BJP leaders, however, criticised the state government for not having data on how much damage Polavaram project would cause in Odisha when implemented.

BJP MLA Pradeep Purohit said the state government should first come out with the relevant data on how many people and villages would be affected by the implementation of the project.

Union Minister of State for Water Resources Sanwar Lal Jat on Monday informed the Rajya Sabha that about 34 percent of the project is complete with an expenditure of Rs 7566.58 crore.