The Orissa government Saturday moved the Supreme Court challenging a go-ahead given by the union environment and forests ministry to an irrigation project in Andhra Pradesh.
The state government feared that the project may lead to flooding of several parts of the state.
The state government’s move comes in the backdrop of the central government justifying the grant of clearance to Polavaram Indira Sagar Project (PISP) on river Godavari in Andhra Pradesh.
The central government earlier told the apex court that the multi-purpose project would irrigate 4.36 hectares of land and provide water to towns and villages. Besides, it would generate 960 MW electricity.
The central government also told the apex court that the probable maximum flood (PMF) estimated for the project was about 50 lakh cusecs and the proposed spillway was capable of disposing of the PMF.
The central government said that the safety of the dam has been checked in this respect.
The state government has contended that the project would inundate tribal villages and the forest land.
A very large number of people in Orissa would be impacted because of the huge embankments constructed by the Andhra Pradesh government for the Polavaram project.
In Bhubaneswar, Orissa Water Resources Secretary S.C. Mohapatra said: “The state government filed a petition in the apex court today (Saturday) seeking cancellation of the forest clearance granted to the project.”
“We are surprised because the environment and forests ministry granted final clearance to the project when the case was still pending in the Supreme Court,” Mohapatra said.
“No assessment on its impact in Orissa was done. Similarly no public hearing was conducted in the villages which would be affected by the project,” he said.