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Controversial Polavaram project gets Wildlife Board clearance

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Apr 27 (UNI) Despite reservations expressed by some experts, the National Board of Wildlife has given clearance to the construction of the controversial Polavaram multipurpose project on Godavari river by Andhra Pradesh which would submerge 181 hectares of Pepikanda wildlife sanctuary.

The Standing Committee of the Bureau has submitted its report, saying the harm to the wildlife in the sanctuary will be negligible as a result of construction of the dam, sources told UNI.

The Orissa Government too has been staunchly opposing construction of the barrage because of the political fall out the submergence of several villages in the state would have as the affected area is infested with Naxalites.

Not only in Orissa, but in Chhattisgarh too, tribal areas will be submerged as a result of the construction of the dam at Pallavaran village on the Andhra Pradesh side of the river.

The Orissa Government has, however, secured a directive from the High Court asking the Andhra Pradesh authorities not to carry out any construction that might lead to submergence of villages in the applicant state's areas.

The project was stuck up as, according to the Supreme Court directive, no project can be taken up in the area involving wildlife sancturies unless the Standing Commitee of the National Bureau has cleared it.

Now the Committee has given its report, saying that the 181 hectare area of the sanctuary to be affected by the construction of the barrage was scattered and on slopes because of which almost no much harm would be done to the wild life inhabiting the sanctuary, sources said.

However, according to them, the report has been given despite, there being some reservations expressed by the experts in the Forest and Environment Ministry.

In view of the experts, the area to be submerged as a result of the construction of the barrage was large and rich enough to cause a substantial harm to the flora and fauna found there.


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