Slamming Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi for reportedly backing Polavaram project in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today said they were talking against the interest of the state.
"It (remarks on Polavaram) shows quite clearly the negative attitude of both Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi to the interest of Odisha," Patnaik told reporters on his return here after a 12-day visit to Delhi. Stating that the state government has moved the Supreme Court against construction of Polavaram project, the chief minister said Odisha was requesting for lowering of height among other things so that its areas did not get submerged and people did not suffer.
He said the government would take appropriate steps to ensure people were not affected due to the project in the neighbouring state. Patnaik was reacting to statements reportedly made by BJP's prime ministerial candidate Modi and Congress vice-president Gandhi recently in support of Polavaram project. While Odisha government has been opposing the height of the dam, the Union Cabinet two days ago gave its nod to the proposal to set up an autonomous Polavaram Project Authority (PPA) to expedite the process of environmental and investment clearances for the controversial project.
The proposed Polavaram Project Authority will be an autonomous body under the Union Water Resources Ministry. Odisha Chief Secretary J K Mohapatra had yesterday said the government was awaiting the details of the Union Cabinet's decision and appropriate steps would be taken after examining it.
The project is being opposed by Odisha and Chhattisgarh on a number of grounds including submergence of areas and displacement of tribal population.