Row over Polavaram Dam intensifies
Hyderabad: Telangana Rashtriya Samithi Karimnagar MP B. Vinod Kumar has filed two petitions against construction of the controversial Polavaram Dam. Telangana irrigation minister T. Harish Rao, told Deccan Chronicle on Tuesday: “We will not allow inclusion of the seven mandals of Khammam district in Seemandhra. We will also fight over the Polavaram Dam’s design. If need be, the Telangana government will file a suit in the Supreme Court against the two decisions.”
Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao has already petitioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi against inclusion of the seven Khammam mandals in Seemandhra and he is going to bring it up again during his meeting with Mr Modi on June 26.
Meanwhile, Mr Vinod Kumar has filed two petitions in the Supreme Court, challenging both the Ordinance and the design of the dam. He stated that construction of the dam would displace over three lakh tribals besides submerging huge tracks of tribal lands.
The NDA government has already introduced a Bill replacing the Ordinance issued on May 28, merging the seven mandals of Khammam district with Seemandhra. The Parliament Budget Session, which will commence on July 7, will need to approve the Bill. However, the Karimnagar MP had moved a statutory resolution in the Lok Sabha against the House taking up the Bill.
Mr Vinod said, “Before the House approves the Bill replacing the controversial Ordinance, my statutory resolution will have to be taken into consideration as per 123 (1)(A) of the Constitution. Besides this, I have also moved the Apex Court against the merger of mandals as well as the design of the Polavaram Dam; there is no question of leaving the issue and we will fight till we get justice.”
He said displacement of tribal population was not an easy task and the Green Tribunal specially constituted by the Supreme Court would not allow it to happen. “I am quite confident that the Apex Court will intervene in the matter and pass appropriate orders restricting the construction,” Mr Vinod said.
Meanwhile, AP Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu on Tuesday moved a statutory resolution in the Assembly supporting the Ordinance (merger of seven mandals) issued by the Centre and also requested the Centre to stick to the Central Water Commission-approved design of the Polavaram Dam (with +150 ft MSL). The resolution was adopted unanimously by the House including by leader of Opposition, Mr Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, who spoke in its favour.
A few days ago, the Telangana Chief Minister had moved a statutory resolution against the same Ordinance and had got it adopted unanimously by the Telangana Assembly.
The TDP, the Congress, the BJP and the YSR Congress are divided along regional lines on the Polavaram issue with the respective state wings in Telangana condemning the Ordinance and the Seemandhra units supporting it.