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Thread: Orissa to challenge Polavaram clearance in SC

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    Default Orissa to challenge Polavaram clearance in SC

    Orissa govt to raise its voice against the Polavaram irrigation project

    Orissa to challenge Polavaram clearance in SC

    Express News ServiceFirst Published : 31 Aug 2010 08:59:36 AM ISTLast Updated : 31 Aug 2010 12:30:01 PM IST

    BHUBANESWAR: The State Government has decided to move the Supreme Court against the clearance granted by the Union Environment and Forest Ministry to the multi-purpose Polavaram irrigation project on the Godavari in Andhra Pradesh.

    A petition will be filed in the Supreme Court in a day or two seeking scrapping of the forest clearance granted to the project as it will submerge several villages in Malkangiri district.

    The Ministry granted approval last month saying that there would be no submergence on the Orissa side as the Andhra Pradesh Government will build a wall along the border with the State to prevent flooding in Orissa.

    Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had recently met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over the issue in Delhi.

    The decision was taken by the Centre considering that only 10 villages will be submerged if the dam was constructed with the present model. But the stand of the State Government is that more villages will be affected.

    No assessment on its impact in Orissa has so far been done. Similarly, no public hearing was also done in the villages which would be affected by the project. The Orissa Government had moved the Supreme Court after the Ministry first granted interim approval to the project in 2008.

    The State Government is also unhappy over the way the clearance was given without consulting the people in Orissa and Chhattisgarh who would be affected by the project.

    Naveen wrote to Manmohan as well as Environment and Forests Minister Jairam Ramesh early this month seeking withdrawal of the permission.

    The assurance given by Congress president Sonia Gandhi to accord national status to the project has come as further setback to the State Government.

    The Andhra Pradesh Government says the Rs 10,150-crore project will provide drinking water to 2.85 million people, produce 960 MW of power and give industry 23,500 million cubic feet of water.

    The Central Ministry gave the final clearance for diversion of 3,731.07 hectares of forest land last month for the project on the condition that no submergence of forest land should take place in Orissa and Chhattisgarh.

    Jairam Ramesh had written to Naveen that a monitoring committee would be constituted to oversee whether the conditions set for final clearance are being adhered to or not by the Andhra Pradesh Government.

    Article at - http://expressbuzz.com/states/orissa...sc/202732.html
    Mrudul Godbole

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    The clash between development and conservation continues. Today conservation is more of a political decision rather than a scientific, empirical one. Large hydroelectricity projects have always been unmitigated disasters over long term. Calculated over a period, the hydel projects have a negative impact on environment relative to other power generation means. So much so this particular project was squashed by National Environmental Appellate Authority in 2007.

    Recent surveys have conclusively proved that Andhra Pradesh is loosing its forest cover at a frightening pace. Submerging 3700 hectares of forest apart from displacing villages etc is sad. In fact I do not get the logic of displacing "forest"!! This is not a copy paste function - this is a complex ecosystem we are talking about. I appreciate it from a risk mitigation perspective; but its not enough. Jairam Ramesh has been an astute minster of environment so far. He has been representing Andhra Pradesh in RS for over 6yrs now. I sincerely hope he is more cognizant of the negative impacts of this project and takes the right decision for the betterment of AP and India.
    Last edited by Ranbir Mahapatra; 02-09-2010 at 05:33 PM.

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