BHUBANESWAR: With the Centre giving the green signal to go ahead with the controversial Polavaram project, the state assembly constituted a house committee headed by speaker Niranjan Pujari to submit a memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the issue.
Besides the Speaker, the 25-member panel will have the government chief whip, opposition chief whip and 22 other members. The first meeting of the committee will be held soon to finalise the programme to visit the location to make an assessment. The committee comprises members from the Congress and BJP also.
Though the issue had rocked the monsoon session of the Assembly, the state government was found to be lacking information about the area to be submerged on Odisha side on completion.
The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) is opposed to the environmental clearance given to the project without a public hearing. The party has also questioned the Centre’s decision to give clearance to the project without any survey.
While the BJD MPs opposed the passage of the AP Reorganisation Bill, the MLAs disrupted the proceedings of the House over the issue for two days. BJD activities also picketed infront of different central government offices, blocked railway tracks and roads in Koraput, Malkangiri, Rayagada and Nabarangpur in protest.
The BJD submitted a memorandum to President Pranab Mukherjee demanding a relook into the design to avoid submergence.
Several BJD MLAs including Ranendra Pratap Swain have also demanded that the state government should come out with a white paper with details about the area of submergence, the number of tribal villages to be affected and compensation from the Centre. Four cases against the project are pending in the Supreme Court.