Polavaram shocker to AP: Odisha govt files affidavit in Supreme Court against project
In a shocker to YSRCP government in AP headed by Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy, the Odisha government has submitted a 71-page affidavit before the Supreme Court seeking stay on construction works of Polavaram project.
The Odisha government brought to the notice of Supreme Court that the maximum flood flow at the project site is much higher than the AP government’s projections. It stated that there is no clarity over the extent of land to be submerged in Odisha state on account of Polavaram project.
The Odisha government said that the AP government has been claiming that water flow at the project site was 36 lakh cusecs, as per the information furnished to the Tribunal. However, the water flow is 50 lakh cusecs, the Odisha government maintained.
Quoting a team of experts from IIT-Roorkee, which conducted its survey at the project site, the Odisha government claimed that the flow would peak at 58 lakh cusecs at the time of floods. It further said that if the survey report are correct, the area along Sabari and Sileru in Odisha state would be submerged as water level would rise to 200 feet. In such a scenario, the Polavaram dam would not be able to withstand such an extent of floodwater.
The Odisha government further said that the number of villages to be submerged was initially put at 412 in 2005 and the number was reduced to 371 in 2017. There is no clarity on the number of villages to be submerged, it said.
Keeping in view the injustice that can potentially be caused due to the Polavaram project, the Supreme Court should pass orders staying construction of the project, the Odisha government appealed. It expressed concern over the possible problems created by backwaters due to collection of silt and asked the apex court to conduct backwater study for calculating the maximum flood level.
The Odisha government has been raising concerns over the Polavaram project over the submergence of the number of villages in its territories. It has not signed any agreement reached in the aftermath of the change in project designs.