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Will conduct public hearing on Polavaram in Odisha, Chhattisgarh: Centre to SC

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The Centre on Thursday told the that it was ready to appoint an independent agency to conduct public hearing in states of and over the Indira Sagar Project on in

The government told this to a bench comprising justices Madan B Lokur, S and after the court asked whether the Centre would conduct public hearing over the project in these two states.

The project on in is a multi-purpose irrigation project which has been accorded the status of a national project.

The project is under construction in and East Godavari District of and its reservoir spreads to parts of and

During the hearing, the Centre told the court that public hearing was already conducted in Andhra Pradesh way back in 2005.

The representing Andhra Pradesh said that government does not want to hold a public hearing on the issue and in such a situation, the Government of was empowered to appoint an independent agency to carry out this work.

"We are living in a democracy and you cannot say that public has some problem but I will not do anything and not hear the public," the bench told the Centre's

The told the court that they had earlier told Odisha to conduct public hearing.

The counsel appearing for Odisha told the bench that they were not even aware as to which areas in their state would be submerged due to the project.

Later, the Centre's counsel took instructions on the issue and told the apex court that they were ready to conduct public hearing in states of Odisha and

The bench asked the Centre to file an affidavit indicating the terms of reference and parameters on which public hearing would be conducted in Odisha and Chhattisgarh.

It has posted the matter for hearing on December 3.

The clearance of the project was cancelled by the Appellate Authority in 2007 but the had stayed it as an interim measure.

The Ministry of Environment, had given a direction to stop the construction work of the project on February 8, 2011, but had later kept its own order in abeyance.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, November 29 2018. 20:15 IST