Setback for Odisha Govt as SC rejects plea to stay Polavaram project work

Bhubaneswar: In a big setback to Odisha Government, the Supreme Court on Monday rejected the State Government’s plea for issuing a stay order on Polavaram dam project work in Andhra Pradesh.

The apex court asked the Odisha Government to seek necessary information regarding public hearing and terms of condition regarding the project from the Centre. The court will hear the matter further in January next year.

Earlier on Thursday, the Supreme Court ordered the Centre to hold a public hearing with the people affected by the Polavaram dam project in Odisha and Chhattisgarh. The apex court also asked the Centre to file an affidavit mentioning terms and conditions to conduct public hearing in Odisha and Chhattisgarh by Saturday and posted the matter on Monday for hearing.

A Bench led by Justice Madan B Lokur said the dam project could not be taken forward without first holding the hearing.

During the proposed hearing, the affected people could discuss issues, including submergence of their land, compensation, and rehabilitation.

Recently, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Prime Minister Naveen Patnaik seeking a halt in the dam work. The Odisha Government had also approached the Supreme Court seeking a halt in the work.

Andhra Pradesh has been going ahead with the Polavaram project, considered the lifeline of the Godavari and Krishna deltas.

However, Odisha has been insisting that AP should continue the work of the dam only after solving all issues pending with.

Polavaram could affect as many as 600 villages in four States, including Odisha.

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