BHUBANESWAR: Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan on Tuesday said the Polavaram project in Andhra Pradesh will adversely impact Odisha and two other States.
The Union Minister’s statement came at a time when the ruling BJD has intensified its agitation against controversial Polavaram multi-purpose irrigation project in the State.
Pradhan, however, defended the Centre for extending full financial support for the controversial dam project over Godavari river.
“Apart from Odisha, the Polavaram project will also hit Chhattisgarh and Telangana. The three States should work in tandem to protect interest of their respective region,” Pradhan told reporters here.
Clarifying that the State BJP has been opposing the Polavaram project since its inception, Pradhan said his party will support the Polavaram issue if it is raised by the State Government or any other organisation.
Asked how the Centre supported the project though he feels that the three States would suffer, Pradhan said, it was the erstwhile UPA Government which accorded national project status to Polavaram in 2013.
“Government is a continuous process. It is the compulsion of the Central Government to fund the project as Polavaram has been accorded the national project status under an Act passed in the Parliament,” he reasoned.
Pradhan, who has been opposing the State Government’s stand on Mahanadi water dispute with Chhattisgarh, said the ruling BJD is trying to deflect public attention from its failures like Nagada malnutrition deaths, killing of tribals at Gumudmaha and Dana Majhi incident and crumbling health services and education system.