Odisha Legislative Assembly (File Photo)
Odisha Legislative Assembly (File Photo)
Bhubaneswar: The State Assembly on Saturday witnessed a verbal duel between ruling BJD and opposition members over the construction of the multi-purpose Polavaram irrigation project on the river Godavari by the Andhra Pradesh government on the Odisha-Andhra Pradesh border.

While the ruling BJD members alleged that Congress leaders of Odisha were supporting the “adamant attitude” of the Andhra Pradesh government by providing them all assistance to construct the project despite opposition by the State government and ignoring the interest of the state, the Congress MLAs on the other hand accused the ruling party of shedding “crocodile tears”.

Raising the issue during the zero hour, Pradip Maharathy (BJD) said, that the project would irrigate 2.91 lakh hectares of land in Andhra Pradesh. But it would submerge 1007 hectares of farms and seven tribal villages in the Malkangiri district. He said despite strong opposition by the state government, the construction work of the project was going on at the cost of the interest of the state.

His party colleague Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak said the Chief Minister has been protesting against the project since 2007. Cases were also filed by the state government in the Supreme Court and a PIL was filed in Odisha High Court against the project. Even though the case was subjudice, the Andhra pradesh government had invited global tender for the project ignoring the interest of the state.

The fight against the project will be taken to New Delhi in coming days, Nayak added.

On the other hand Congress Chief Whip Prasad Harichandan said that the State Government had no sincerity to resolve the issue. The act of opposition to the project is confined to filing a case in Supreme Court. Therefore, the chief minister should stop shedding crocodile tears.

BJP legislature party leader K V Singhdeo also criticized Patnaik and wanted to know why an all-party meeting had not been convened by the state government on Polavaram issue and why the State Government has not sought their cooperation to take a united stand over the issue, despite their demand.

“Crocodile tears shed by BJD government will not help to stop the project. The tear instead may help in filling the Polavaram dam,” Singhdeo said.

Asking the ruling BJD to stop doing politics over the issue to gain political mileage, the BJP leader assured the house that his party was with the state government if it would fight for the cause of the people in areas facing submergence due to Polavaram project.

Source: 360 NS