**Bhubaneswar: ** Following Supreme Court’s directive to both Odisha and Chhattisgarh Governments to hold public hearings on the ongoing Polavaram project dispute, it evoked political reactions in the State capital city here on the very day of such an order.
Besides, the apex court has also directed the Centre to submit a report on the terms and conditions of the Polavaram project by Saturday (December 1) before posting the next hearing on Monday (December 3).
In his media reactions, senior BJD MP Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo said, “It’s a good declaration by the Supreme Court because when the Polavaram project was started, there was no protest from our side. But, when they (Andhra Pradesh Government) suo motu unilaterally increased the height of the dam, the people got affected. It was illegal. Odisha has, thus, moved the Supreme Court against it.”
“That is a welcome step as Supreme Court has ordered for a public hearing on it. However, our demand will persist against the unilateral increase in the height of Polavaram. It should be stopped forthwith. We’ll go for the public hearing and we will still pursue the matter in Supreme Court,” he remarked.
He further remarked, “It’s the beginning of Odisha’s victory in the Polavaram matter. The affected people will now air their grievances now. We hope and believe that Odisha and its trbals will get justice.”
On the other hand, Congress Chief Whip Tara Prasad Bahinipati said, “When 90% of the construction work of Polavaram has completed, the Odisha Government is now waking up from its slumber. No Gram Sabha or Palli Sabha has been organized there earlier. It is now the duty of the State Government to look after the matter. But, the State Government has no specific data on the loss and damage to be caused.”
Odisha BJP MLA Pradip Purohit said, “Obviously everyone will welcome and I also welcome the judgement of Supreme Court. But it is unfortunate to note that the BJD-led Government here did nothing much earlier. Had it been done much earlier, the affected tribals of Odisha would have got speedy justice. The case is pending in the Supreme Court since long. Polavaram case is dilly dallying as the State Government is not so serious about the affected tribals.”
In the wake of Supreme Court’s order now, the State Government here should now wake up to the occasion for organizing the public hearing so that the people there get due justice,” remarked the BJP MLA.
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