HYDERABAD: After settling the issue of locating the new capital of the State at Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu has begun concentrating his efforts on clearing the hurdles for the construction of Polavaram Irrigation Project across river Godavari, which is being considered as the future “lifeline” of the truncated State.
As part of this exercise, Naidu is planning to visit the two neighbouring States -- Chhattisgarh and Odisha -- next week to confabulate with his counterparts of these States so as to know their objections for the construction of the project and also to amicably address their objections.
According to sources, during his visit to Bhubaneswar (Odisha) and Raipur (Chhattisgarh), Naidu will discuss the ways to address the objections being raised by both the States for construction of the project.
“After knowing the objections of the governments of Chhattisgarh and Odisha, Naidu will try to solve the contentious issues by suggesting an amicable solution,” said a source.
In fact, Polavaram Irrigation Project, which is formally called as “Indirasagar-Polavaram Multi-purpose Irrigation Project” has become a controversial one due to the objections from the governments of Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Telangana.
The Centre gave forest clearance to the Polavaram project on the condition that AP would construct embankments to avoid submergence.
However, the Odisha government has been opposing the proposed embankments. Chhattisgarh is insisting on reducing the height of the proposed project to lessen the submergence. The State is also urging for the safety of embankments of Sabari river on its side.
But the AP government is not ready to lessen the proposed height of the dam from 150 feet. AP government is also planning to get the height of the dam increased further to reduce the burden on existing projects on Krishna river.
Meanwhile, the government of the newly-formed Telangana State is also opposing the construction of the project, saying that that tribal people in Khammam district would be displaced with the project.
As the governments of these three States have begun joining hands in opposing the construction of Polavaram project, Naidu is understood to have decided to directly interact with his Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Telangana counterparts to address their concerns and convince them to accept construction of this massive dam.
According to sources, after meeting Chief Ministers of Chhattisgarh and Odisha, the AP Chief Minister would also hold talks with his Telangana counterpart K Chandrasekhar Rao to clear the air over Polavaram project.