The Supreme Court, hearing a petition on the status of Polavaram multi-purpose project, ordered the Centre on November 29 to hold a public hearing in the project affected area in Odisha and Chhattisgarh. The Centre replied saying it was ready to appoint an independent agency to conduct the same.
The SC bench, led by Justice Madan B. Lokur, also said that the project will only move forward after the public hearings are held. The court was hearing a petition filed by the non-profit Readiness for Empowerment through Legitimate Action (RELA) and the Odisha government.
The Polavaram project was accorded national status in 2014 in the Andhra Pradesh Bifurcation Act and its design was changed. The petitioner had told the court that since the dam design has been changed and new components were added, it’d require a new environmental clearance.
Polavaram Project is a multi-purpose irrigation project. The dam across the Godavari River is under construction located in West Godavari District and East Godavari District in Andhra Pradesh state and its reservoir spreads in parts of Chhattisgarh and Orissa States also.
The project is multipurpose major terminal reservoir project on river Godavari for development of Irrigation, Hydropower and drinking water facilities to East Godavari, Vishakhapatnam, West Godavari and Krishna districts of Andhra Pradesh.
The project is likely to displace over 1.88 lakh people across 222 villages and so far, 1,730 persons in six villages have been rehabilitated by the government.