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Polavaram to submerge 276 villages in AP

Polavaram to submerge 276 villages in AP
Highlights

Polavaram to submerge 276 villages in AP, The Centre on Wednesday told the Lok Sabha that 276 villages in Andhra Pradesh, four villages in Chhattisagarh and eight villages in Odisha were likely to be submerged due to Polavaram Dam project.

  • Also 4 villages in Chhattisgarh and 8 in Odisha to go under
  • AP to lose 3,427.5 hectares of forest land due to the project

New Delhi: The Centre on Wednesday told the Lok Sabha that 276 villages in Andhra Pradesh, four villages in Chhattisagarh and eight villages in Odisha were likely to be submerged due to Polavaram Dam project. "An area of 3427.52 hectares of forest land only in Andhra Pradesh is also projected to be inundated," Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said in the Lok Sabha.

A file photo of protests against Polavaram project

He was replying to a question whether the government had conducted environmental impact assessment of Polavaram Dam project and the villages and forest land which were likely to be submerged and destroyed by it. He said the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) study, which was mandatory for environmental clearance was conducted in accordance with Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification, 1994...and accordingly an Environment Management Plan (EMP) was prepared to mitigate impact on catchment area, biodiversity, aquatic life, health and project affected persons among other aspects.

Javadekar said the Environmental Clearance to the Polavaram Multipurpose Project was accorded on October 25, 2005, in accordance with the EIA Notification 1994. Replying to another question, he said EC cases were dealt with as per the procedure prescribed by EIA Notification 2006. This notification has been amended from time to time based on experience gained and with a view to further rationalising the process. He said recently a notification dated 25.06.2014 had been issued, amending the EIA notification 2006 thereby delegating more powers to state level Environment Impact Assessment Authorities (SEIAAs) for granting EC and further streamlining the process.

Tribals in Khammam district are fiercely opposing the project and seeking restoration of the seven mandals, which are transferred to AP, to Telangana State. A House Committee of the Odisha Legislative Assembly on Tuesday decided to draw attention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and request him to ensure that interest of people to be affected due to construction of the Polavaram project be protected.

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