New Delhi: Parliament on Monday passed a bill on setting up of the multi-purpose Polavaram irrigation project in Andhra Pradesh, with government assuring all possible steps for rehabilitation and resettlement of the affected people.
The Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, passed by Lok Sabha last week, was approved by Rajya Sabha by a voice vote after a debate during which Congress sought to take credit for bringing the amendments.
Congress member and former Union Minister Jairam Ramesh noted that the project was not easy to be implemented but appreciated the current government for taking it forward as it is, saying it reflects the democratic politics.
The project involves relocation of about 50,000 families especially in Khammam, East Godavari and West Godavari districts in Andhra Pradesh, besides 2,000 families in Odisha and Chhattisgarh.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh, while replying to the debate on the issue in Rajya Sabha, also assured the House that government has not violated any constitutional norm while bringing the bill.
"Polavaram is a central project...(government) will consider the rehabilitation and resettlement issue," he said, seeking to allay concerns of members regarding submergence of certain areas in Odisha and Chhattisgarh.
Initiating the debate, Ramesh said, "This is an important commitment made by the erstwhile UPA government which has been continued by the present government. The continuity in policy reflects democratic politics."
The Home Minister also said the President had given his assent yesterday for taking up the Bill in Rajya Sabha.
Polavaram project has been accorded national project status by the Centre. The dam across the Godavari River is under construction and is located in West Godavari District and East Godavari District in Andhra Pradesh, with its reservoir spreading to parts of Chhattisgarh and Odisha.
The Home Minister also said the government issued notification for the project in May as at that time there was President rule in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana....