CPI(M) wants joint meeting of states on Polavaram project

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Bhubaneswar, Sep 16:  Seeking a halt to the construction of the controversial Polavaram project in Andhra Pradesh, the CPI(M) today urged Odisha Governor S C Jamir to take up the matter with the Centre and ensure a joint meeting among the affected states.

The CPI(M)'s suggestion to the Governor came in the backdrop of a tripartite meeting being convened by the Centre on September 17 over the Mahanadi water dispute between Odisha and Chhattisgarh. "A joint discussion with affected states like Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh be initiated by the Government of India," the CPI(M) said in a memorandum to the Odisha government.

Polavaram 1

A delegation of the CPI(M), led by its state secretary Ali Kishore Patnaik and senior member Janardan Pati, met the Governor here, a day after the ruling BJD submitted a memorandum addressed to the President.

The BJD also staged a dharna opposing the Polavaram project. Besides suggesting the Governor to seek expert opinion to change the design of the Polavaram Dam, the CPI(M) said the height of dam should be reduced to 150 ft, instead of 182 ft as proposed now.

"The excess height of the Polavaram dam will cause huge loss for the people of Odisha," it said. "We are not against taming of river Godavari in Andhra Pradesh. But, under no circumstances it should go against the interest of Odisha," the party said in the memorandum.

The party said lack of water for Polavaram project would cause displacement of several tribal families who have got little benefit under the Forest Rights Act. This apart, the height of the Polavaram project would also cause water-logging in Malkangiri and Koraput districts of Odisha, it said.

PTI

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