Strongly opposing construction of Polavaram dam in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, Odisha government, on Saturday, asked the Planning Commission of India not to grant revised investment clearance to the controversial multi-purpose project.
"As the matter is sub judice in the Apex Court, it will be prudent to wait till the judgement is given as the project parameter and estimates may change," Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik wrote to Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia.
Stating that the Odisha government has filed a suit in the Supreme Court challenging the Ministry of Environment and Forest's environmental clearance, Patnaik pointed out that the state administration also opposed to the R&R (rehabilitation and resettlement) clearance accorded by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MOTA).
"The state government has prayed the apex court to declare both the clearance null and void," the chief minister said.
Patnaik also said that no public hearing was conducted in the affected Malkangiri district of Odisha.
"Instead, the public hearing was conducted in Khammam district of Andhra Pradesh," he said adding that the environmental clearance granted by the MoEF in favour of Polavaram project was set aside by the National Environment Appellate Authority (NEAA).
The NEAA also directed to conduct public hearing in the affected areas of Odisha and Chhattishgarh, the Chief Minister said in the letter to to Planning Commission.
However, the orders of NEAA were challenged by the government of Andhra Pradesh in the Andhra Pradesh High Court. The AP High Court has issued an interim order on December 31, 2007 suspending the orders of the NEAA until further order.