ORISSA OPPOSES KILLER POLAVARAM DAM BUT PREFERS SAFE BARRAGES PROJECT ?
Government of Andhra Pradesh have proposed to construct a Multipurpose project across river Godavari near Polavaram at 42 kms upstream of existing Godavari barrage near Rajmahendry in the West Godavary district of Andhra Pradesh.
In the inter-state meeting held on 15.12.78, it was decided to go for the construction of Polavaram project in such a manner that maximum submergence in Orissa territory should not exceed RL 150ft at Konta/Motu due to all effects including back water effect.
Further as per agreement dated 02.04.1980 the co-basin states agreed upon that the discharging capacity of the spillway may be 36 lakh cusecs at RL + 140 feet and an operation schedule was also prescribed.
The Godavari Water Dispute Tribunal (GWDT) passed its final order during April 1980.Clause(VI) of the order states that the Polavaram project shall be cleared by the Central Water Commission (CWC) as expeditiously as possible for MWL/FRL 150ft. The matter of design and its operation was left to CWC keeping in view all the agreements and change in operation schedule to be done in consultation with co-basin states. The design aspect was left entirely to CWC by GWDT
During the inter-state meeting held on 26.2.1997,Government of Andhra Pradesh intimated that at 36 lakh cusecs design flood the water level may go up to RL 182 feet due to back water effect. As a result 7 villages (1026 ha of land) in Orissa territory are likely to be affected.Further Govt. of Andhra Pradesh intimated
during March 2001 that 10 villages and 2119.38 ha. of land were likely to be affected in Orissa territory. 648.05 ha. of land would be submerged at RL 150 ft. which includes 102.16 ha. of reserve forest in Orissa territory. These values are based on the remote sensing data.While the the issue of submergence in Orissa
The Ministry of Environment & Forest, Government of India have granted environmental clearance to the project on 25.10.2005 based on design flood of 36 lakh cusecs. In the meanwhile, the design flood of
the project has been revised by CWC to the order of 50 lakh cusecs. As such, the environmental clearance given to this project can not be treated as valid and has to be revoked as the Environmental clearance was given basing ondesign flood of 36 lakh cusecs.
Sri R.Vidya Sagar Rao, Retired Chief Engineer,C.W.C had filed a petition before the Central Empowered Committee (constituted by Hon’ble Supreme Court of India) challenging the Forest & Environment clearance accorded by the Ministry of Environment and Forest, Govt. of India dated 25.10.2005.The officers of Government of Orissa appeared before the C.E.C on 26.6.2006, 26.7.2006 and
29.8.2006 and strongly opposed the proposed Polavaram project of A.P. Government.
Hon’ble High Court of Orissa has passed order in the Misc Case No.3117 of 2006 arising out of W.P© No.3669/2006; “It is open to the State of Andrha Pradesh to proceed with the construction of Indira Sagar (Polavaram)Multipurpose Project after complying with the requirements of all laws applicable in this regard in such manner that no land/village/area within the territory of the State of Orissa is submerged.”
Hon’ble Chief Minister, Orissa has requested the Hon’ble Prime Minister, Hon’ble Union Minister of Water Resources, Hon’ble Union Minister of F&E and Hon’ble Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh to reformulate the Pollavaram Multipurpose project without any submergence in Orissa territory as socio-economic situation
of Orissa has undergone a sea change since 1978.
The Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India have granted R&R clearance to the project on 17.4.2007.
Government of Orissa have filed a suit in the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India against the Government of Andhra Pradesh under Art 131 of the Indian Constitution on 09.10.2007 with prayer
(a) To declare that the first defendant has no right or entitlement to undertake or proceed with the construction of Polavaram Project (now known as Indira Sagar Project) on Godavari river at Polavaram.
(b) To declare the clearance of the Government of India, Ministry of Environment & Forests dated 25.10.2005 as illegal and null & void.
(c) To declare the tribal clearance given by the Secretary (Tribal), Government of India, Ministry of Tribal Affairs, New Delhi as null & void.
(d) To grant a permanent injunction restraining the A.P. Government from undertaking or proceeding with the construction of Polavaram Project (now known as Indira Sagar Project) on Godavari river at Polavaram or order to defendant to lower its heights so as not to submerge the territory of Orissa Stat
(e) To declare the permission of Central Water Commission vide its letter No.6/125/2007 PAC(S) dated.11.04.2007 to construct embankments as null & void as is not based on any technical data. CWC has not done any investigation. Further, no data has been supplied to Plaintiff State of Orissa by CWC before giving
(f) To grant a mandatory injunction to remove all its structures related to the Polavaram Project (now known as Indira Sagar Project) on Godvari river at Polavaram being executed by the A.P.Government.
Environmental clearance granted by MOEF on 25.10.2005 in favour of Polavaram Project has been set aside by the National Environment Appellate Authority (NEAA) vide order dt.19.12.2007.
Govt. of Andhra Pradesh challenged this order in Andhra Pradesh High Court and A.P High court has suspended the order of NEAA on 31.12.2007. A counter affidavit has been filed by F&E Department , Government of Orissa in WP No.27787 of 2007, WPMP No.36348 of 2007 and WVMP of 2008 in the High Court of Andhra Pradesh requesting to vacate the interim order dated 31.12.2007.
A written statement has been filed by MOTA on Suit No.4 of 2007, the State of Orissa Vrs State of Andhra Pradesh and others in the Supreme Court of India.A written statement has also been filed by Govt.of A.P.on Suit No.4 of 2007, the State of Orissa Vrs State of Andhra Pradesh and others in the Supreme Court of India. The rejoinder to the above written statement has been prepared by Govt. of Orissa and filed in the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India.
The TAC clearance for the project has been accorded on 23.01.2009 by Central Water Commission as per the stipulation given below
1. The project authorities shall give to the MOEF the details of the proposed protection bunds along Sabari and Sileru to prevent Submergence in Orissa and Chhattisgarh in accordance with orders of Hon’ble High Court of Orissa and condition imposed by MOTA and MOEF and takes their concurrence before construction of these protection embankments.
2. The project authorities shall furnish confirmation report to MOTA that there is no change in the number of project affected ST family and ST population from what was reported at the clearance of R&R plan by MOTA.
3. The State of Andhra Pradesh shall ensure that there is no submergence of any habitations or forest area in Orissa and Chhattisgarh as assured by them by constructing protective embankments with adequate drainage arrangements.
4. The project authorities shall fulfill the stipulated conditions of MOEF and MOTA as laid down in their respective clearances.
The application for stay of operation of the clearance granted by TAC of CWC in respect of Indirasagar ( Pollavaram) Project, Andhra Pradesh on 20th January 2009 and injunction restraining A.P Government from proceeding further with construction work in respect of the project has been filed in the Hon’ble Supreme
Court of India on 16.02.2009. Also the rejoinder to the written statement filed by MOTA on suit 4 of 2007 has been filed in the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India. Forest clearance to the project has been accorded by MOEF on 07.12.2008.Action is being taken for filling counter to the Forest clearance granted by MOEF in the
Hon’ble Supreme Court of India.