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Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today urged his Andhra Pradesh counterpart N Chandrababu Naidu to immediately stop the construction work of the Polavaram project till the issues relating to the state were resolved. "It is requested that the construction work of the Polavaram project should be stopped immediately and the work may not recommence till the issues concerning the state of Odisha are resolved," he wrote in a letter to Naidu. Claiming that the construction of the Polavaram project was going on at a rapid pace, without correctly assessing the design, flood and backwater extent in the Malkangiri district of Odisha, the chief minister alleged that it was in violation of the Godavari Water Dispute Tribunal's (GWDT) award and not in conformity with the national standards or norms. "The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), vide its Office Memorandum dated 23.06.2015, had decided to keep the 'stop work order' in abeyance for one year, based on a request of the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh vide his letter dated 25.04.2015, subject to several conditions," Patnaik wrote in the letter. The conditions mentioned in the memorandum were that the Andhra Pradesh government, which had earlier assured not to impound the reservoir of the project till the issues raised by Chhattisgarh and Odisha were resolved, should not proceed to do so without the specific permission of the MoEF&CC, he said. The MoEF&CC, vide its aforementioned office memorandum, had kept the 'stop work order' in abeyance for a period of one year, which was up to June 22, 2016. "However, the construction work on the Polavaram project is going on without any further permission from the MoEF&CC, as per the records available with the Government of Odisha. No efforts have also been made to resolve the issues relating to the state of Odisha," Patnaik wrote to Naidu.
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