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Majhi writes to Jual Oram on Polavaram project

Statesman News Service | Bhubaneshwar |

Odisha ST/SC Development Minister Ramesh Chandra Majhi today requested the Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram to rise above narrow party politics and help the tribal population of Malkangiri district who are bound to be adversely impacted by the Polavaram project in bordering Andhra Pradesh.

Mr Majhi requested the Union minister to exercise his good offices to influence the central government officers concerned and ensure that the project work in Andhra Pradesh stops immediately. He said though over four crore people of the state have posed their confidence on the Union minister and hoped that as a minister representing the tribal community he would continue his fight to protect the interest of the state particularly the interest of the tribal community but unfortunately it is not happening.

Mr Majhi regretted the reply given by Mr Oram in the Rajya Sabha on 4 January in reply to a question raised by Mr D Raja that the people of Odisha would not be affected by the Polavaram project. He said the Polavaram Project is being constructed by the Andhra Pradesh government violating many rules is coming up without holding a gram sabha in villages of Malkangiri district of Odisha which will be affected. Majhi said that as many as 6818 people including 5916 tribal people would be adversely impacted by the project. The project, he said would affect 35 habitations , 15 revenue villages and 7656 hectares of land in Malkangiri district.

Mr Majhi said on 8 June , 2014 in an interview Mr Oram had himself stated that “Odisha government has been unable to raise the issue effectively for the state’s interest, though the dam is set to affect a large number of people in the state”. Mr Majhi said he has written a letter in this regard to the Union minister yesterday requesting him to intervene in the matter and protect the interest of the state and its people.

He recalled that chief minister Naveen Patnaik had written repeatedly to the Prime Minister in this regard and questioned how the Centre had accorded national project status to Polavaram. The Odisha government has alsomoved the Supreme Court on the Polavaram project.