BHUBANESWAR: Even as the Centre released funds for the construction of Polavaram dam project in Andhra Pradesh, the ruling BJD members on Tuesday threatened to move a censure motion against the NDA Government in the Assembly for allowing a project against the interest of Odisha.
The BJD members also raised the Polavaram issue in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
The issue was raised in the Assembly by senior BJD MLA Amar Prasad Satpathy, who criticised the Centre for funding a project which will lead to submergence in Malkangiri district.
“Let there be a censure motion against the Centre in the Assembly as the NDA Government has adopted the policy of the previous UPA government on Polavaram project, which is anti-Odisha. The project is being encouraged by the Centre without holding public hearing, both in Odisha and Chhattisgarh,” Satpathy said, adding that Kashipur and Gunupur areas would be completely submerged after implementation of the Polavaram project.
Satpathy said though three States, Odisha, Telangana and Chhattisgarh, will be affected by the project, the Centre started funding the project for the benefit of Andhra Pradesh. He urged Speaker Niranjan Pujari to activate the House Committee on Polavaram project and convene an all-party meeting on the matter.
He said about 2,000 hectares in Odisha would be submerged by the project as the authorities have increased the dam height despite Odisha’s opposition.
BJD members Samir Ranjan Dash, Ranendra Pratap Swain and Dambaru Sisa also supported Satpathy’s proposal of bringing a censure motion against the Centre over the project.
Congress member Taraprasad Bahinipati also supported the BJD members and criticised the Centre for funding the project which will submerge a large area in Malkangiri district. Bahinipati demanded that all-party meeting should be convened by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to discuss the issue. Besides, a delegation of leaders from all political parties should also meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi to demand that the project should be stopped.
Rabi Narayan Naik (BJP), however, said that the State Government is yet to make an assessment of the loss to Odisha due to the project. Raising the issue without making a proper assessment of loss will be of no help, he said. Replying to a question in the Rajya Sabha on Monday, Union Minister of State for Water Resources Sanwar Lal Jat had said that Centre has released `345 crore for the project till September end this year.