Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to stop the construction of Polavaram dam in Andhra Pradesh, ANI reported. Patnaik requested Modi to revoke the project clearance given by the Union Ministry of Environment of Forests and Climate Change till the contentious matter is resolved.
The chief minister said the project would displace the “primitive tribal population” in Malkangiri district. “If the project is allowed to be completed before resolution of all the pending issues, it will cause permanent injury to the interest of Odisha,” Patnaik wrote.
The chief minister said the dam might submerge forest and fertile land and many villages.
The chief minister had written to the Union Ministry of Environment of Forests and Climate Change in June to demand the project’s suspension, The New Indian Express reported. According to Patnaik, the dam construction breaches the Godavari Water Dispute Tribunal Award.
In March, Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari had said the Centre was focusing on a project that would divert surplus water from Maharashtra’s Indravati river and the backwaters of Andhra Pradesh’s Polavaram dam to help ease the water crisis in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.