Even as Andhra Pradesh government is working hard to complete the prestigious Polavaram Project by 2019, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik raised objections to the project and wrote a letter to the Central government with a request to stop the project works. The Odisha chief minister had written a letter to Union Minister for Environment Harshavardhan, raising his State’s concerns against Polavaram, which is seen as the lifeline to the State.
The Odisha chief minister complained to the Central government that Andhra Pradesh had not finalised the resettlement and rehabilitation package. The Godavari water tribunal had also not solved the water sharing from the Sabari and Sileru rivers. The Odisha chief minister also raised objections to the revised designs of the project stating that it would submerge more area in Odisha that it was promised. He further accused Andhra Pradesh government of not following the agreed guidelines between the two States.
Naveen Patnaik, in his letter stated that he had already written to the Prime Minister two letters in the past. However, he expressed his displeasure over the inaction from the Prime Minister which had forced him to knock at the Environmental ministry.
Andhra Pradesh is working 24×7 to complete the project and it was on this day that Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu had pledged to complete the Polavaram Project by next year. He had even changed the contractor against the wishes of the Central government so as to speed up the works and holds a review meeting every Monday. On the day of bifurcation, Chandrababu Naidu had pledged to complete his life mission of Polavaram Project and had blamed the Government of India for not releasing funds as per the schedule.
Now that the neighbouring Odisha had raised objections and requested the Centre to stop the project works, it is to be seen how AP government would handle the trouble. It is expected that the Union Ministry of Environment is likely to seek clarifications from the AP government on the objections raised by Naveen Patnaik, before acting on it.