Minister for Water Resources P Anil Kumar Yadav assured that the government will stand by and protect the interests of those displaced due to the Polavaram project in every manner.
So far, MEIL, which has taken up Polavaram execution in 2019, has completed the spillway slab work, spillway of 3.32 lakh cubic metres and fixing of 42 out of the 48 radial gates.
There were no doctors in hospitals and medicines were in short supply in Chintur, Yetapaka, VR Puram and Kunavaram mandals, they added.
The families informed PPA that they had voluntarily moved to the Rehabilitation and Resettlement colonies in view of the closure of gaps in cofferdams, the officials claimed.
The CPM has urged Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for an all-party meeting to assess the loss Odisha is likely to incur due to the Polavaram project.
After the PPA CEO’s visit, Union Ministry of Jal Shakti (MoJS) officials are also scheduled to visit Visakhapatnam and Polavaram Irrigation Project.
Despite several representations and meetings, the Central government is not actively pursuing the issues, obstructing the smooth progress of the project.
The MPs also requested the Finance Minister to reimburse the expenditure incurred by the state government on the project.
It was argued that officials are intentionally storing water in cofferdam so the backwater enters the submerged villages, forcing people to evacuate, even before the R & R package is implemented.
The Centre has released `11,182 crore for the Polavaram project since 2014, Minister of State for Planning and Programme Implementation Rao Inderjit Singh said.
Andhra CM Jagan Mohan Reddy said while the state has not kept any bills related to R&R pending, the Centre is yet to clear Rs 2,300 crores for the Polavaram project.
In Rajya Sabha, YSRC leader Vijayasai Reddy requested Chairman to suspend business and take up discussion on Special Category Status. In Lok Sabha, YRSC demanded release of pending Polavaram dues.
Hailing Modi Sarkar at the Centre, BJP state chief Somu Veerraju said gazette notification issued notifying two river water management boards was the best solution for inter-state river disputes.
Rajya Sabha MP V Vijayasai Reddy also asserted that the YSRC is against the Centre’s move to privatise Visakhapatnam Steel Plant.
In view of the increasing water levels, officials went to the villages along the upstream of Polavaram project on both sides of the river bank and requested the villagers to move to relief camps.