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Polavaram project will be a watery grave for Odisha and Chattisgarh
The Polavoram Irrigation Project on Godavari River in coastal Andhra Pradesh may benefit Andhra Pradesh as it would save the water currently going into the sea according to the Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy of Andhra Pradesh.

MR. REDDY confirmed that the design of the Project would not be changed though it would adversely affect the neighboring Odisha and Chattisgarh states because over 4,7000 cores have already been spent on it out of an estimated cost of Rs. 16,000 cores to complete the same. 

Once the project is ready, it will irrigate 4.36 lakhs hectares in East Godavari, West Godavori, Visakhapatnam and Krishna districts; provide drinking water supply to town and villages; and generate hydro power with an installed capacity of 960 M.W. 

The project capacity is 287.47 thousand million cubic fit (tmc ft ). The project report 1985 prepared indicates around 150, 697 people to be displaced in 226 villages of Andhra Pradesh. But the population of these villages is much higher at present than of the 1985 project report, and the fate of the population increased from 1985 is not known. 

The project is being strongly opposed by Odisha and Chattisgarh on the grounds that it would submerge 100 of tribal villages and displace thousands of people. Telengana Jagruthi President Kavita Kalavakuntala has urged union minister of state for environment and forest to immediately ask the Andhra Pradesh government to stop the works of Polavoram irrigation project. 

Ms. Kavita, D/o: Telengana Rastriya Samiti President K. Chandra Sekhar Rao, the tribals, for whose welfare the Telengana Jagruthi (TJ) is starving, is totally against the design of the project, and as many 150 Grama Sabha resolutions, passed by the tribal villagers, opposing the work, have been submitted to the supreme court. 

The Chief Minister Naveen Pattnaik of Odisha said in the Assembly of 3rd September that according primary survey, as many as 13 revenue villages in the tribal district of Malkangiri in Odisha will be submerge if the Polavoram project would be constructed by the Andhra Pradesh government. Replying to a question of Congress M.L.A. Dushamanta Nayak, Pattnaik said that a total 6,950 hectares of land including as many as 3,470 hectares of forest land and 3,480 hectares of Revenue and other lands of Odisha will be submerged due to the project. 

However, the matter is also sub-judice under the Supreme Court. "The stand of Odisha and Chattisgarh government against displacement of their people by Polavoram Project and threat to environment is legitimate," said convener of the National Alliance of peoples movements Medha Patker had said on 28th July 2012 at Bhubaneswar. 

The Telengana political joint action committee convener Prof. M.Kodanda Ram also demanded to review its decision to construct the Polavoram multi-purpose project, given the large-scale opposition to its from various quarters an account of several reasions. He also opined the construction of Polavoram Project would not be possible as long as there were objections to it from neighboring states of Chattisgarh and Odisha. 

The Odisha High Court judgment of April 2006 directs the Andhra Pradesh government to go head with Polavoram Project without causing any submersion of villages of forest lands and displacement of tribals in Odisha. However, the action of the central government ministers in giving clearance to Polavoram Project is an act of cheating the people of India. The people of Malkangiri district of Odisha are agitating against the Polavoram Project on the ground that the damaging impacts of this project will be felt in 18 villages including displacement of more that 20,000 people mostly tribals and more than 1.5 lakhs acres of forest land to be inundated due to the Polavoram Project according to the survey condected by Prof. Sivaji Rao (Director, Center for Environmental Studies – Gitam University, Visakhapatnam). 

The dam break analysis reports prepared for Polavoram dam by the Andhra Pradesh state government and scrutinized by several ministers of the Union government, is blind to the damaging impact - resulting in a watery grave for 50 lakhs people down stream of the dam in case of an inevitable collapse of the dam for several reasions and the consequential economic loss of more than 1 lakh crore rupees, which makes the country poorer - and this promotes poverty on a large scale, Prof. Dr. Sivaji Rao opined. The people of India have the right to live, right to help, right to employment, and all these rights are going to be adversely affected by this dam.

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