Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to halt the works on Polavaram project in Andhra Pradesh. Stating that the construction of the dam should be stopped until all the issues are resolved, Mr Patnaik requested the Prime Minister to revoke the order given by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change for Polavaram project in July.
“If the project is allowed to be completed before the resolution of all the pending issues, it will cause permanent injury to the interest of the State of Odisha and its people,” the Odisha Chief Minister wrote in his letter addressed to the Prime Minister.
Naveen Patnaik mentioned that if the project is completed before the resolution of all the pending issues, a large amount of forest area and fertile land will be submerged along with the submergence of a number of villages and lead to the displacement of primitive tribal population in the Malkangiri district of Odisha.
“I am constrained to write this letter to draw your personal attention and intervention on the magnitude of the consequences that the people of Odisha will have to face viz. the submergence of tribal villages resulting in mass displacement of tribals, the flooding of fertile agricultural lands and submergence of large forest area, all of which can be avoided if only an opportunity is given for a final resolution of the disputes pending before the Supreme Court,” he added in his two-page letter.
He said that the Polavaram project construction breaches the Godavari Water Dispute Tribunal and can be reformulated without causing submergence in Telangana, Odisha, and Chhattisgarh.
Naveen Patnaik also mentioned that in the context of the Polavaram project, he had written three letters to Narendra Modi on 16 September 2015, 28 November 2017, and 12 July 2018.