After Kanhar, protests against Polavaram dam in Chhattisgarh

It is likely to submerge many villages of Konta block of Sukma district in south Bastar.

Written by Ashutosh Bhardwaj | Raipur | Published: May 5, 2015 9:00 pm

After Kanhar dam in north Chhattisgarh, the state politics is now galvanized around another under-construction dam on its southern tip.

Polavaram dam, declared a national project, is being constructed by the TDP government of Andhra Pradesh on the confluence of West Godavari and East Godavari districts. It is likely to submerge many villages of Konta block of Sukma district in south Bastar.

Alleging that the BJP government has ignored the plight of villagers, PCC Chief Bhupesh Baghel and Leader of Opposition TS Sinhadev today left for Delhi where they will submit a status report on the land situation in Chhattisgarh to party vice president Rahul Gandhi.

“This dam affects the rights of villagers of Chhattisgarh. Eighteen villages of Konta block will be submerged but the BJP government has not shown any concern,” he said.

His meeting with Gandhi is in the context of the Congress protests against the BJP’s recent amendments in the land acquisition law.

The protests against the Polavaram dam had seen another controversy last week, when Congress MLAs from Bastar had sought permission from the police to protest in the Maoist-hit Konta area. The Bastar police had denied saying it could not provide them protection and had advised the Congress against holding the dharna.

The MLAs, led by Konta MLA Kawasi Lakhma, had then entered into Orissa and then crossed the Shabri river by boat to reach the protest spot in Konta. “They do not care about our rights. They don’t even want us to take up the issue,” Lakhma said.

The Raman Singh government had earlier filed a petition in the Supreme Court against the Polavaram project but the Sukma administration is yet to take note of the situation.

“The state government has undertaken a formality of opposing the project, but has not taken any concrete step to protect villagers. This dam will submerge villages along the national highway, damage forest cover and animal population. But the government is not concerned,” Congress spokesperson SN Trivedi said.

Last week, Singh had written to the UP government demanding immediate suspension of work at the Kanhar dam in north Chhattisgarh that is likely to submerge over 25 villages of the state.

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  1. Shivajirao Tipirneni
    May 31, 2015 at 10:01 pm
    The chief minister of Orissa must realize that the award by Bachawat tribunal on polavaram project is not only a national disaster project as a dam but also makes the country economically bankrupt the Government has to pay as compensatioin several lakhs of crores of rupees and part of this compensation will have to be collected by the union Government by imposing new taxes over the oriya people and other citizens of all the states in India. So the public of India will be greatful to sri Naveen Patnaik for taking up this noble public cause of changing the killer polavaram dam into a beneficial project. seewebsites for more details 22 x-none
    1. Shivajirao Tipirneni
      May 30, 2015 at 10:52 pm
      baghel and Sinha,congress leaders are innocent in under-estimating that only eighteen villages will be submerged in Sukma District and konta block because Orissa Irrigation secretary Mahapatra said that this polavaram dam will submerge more than one hundred villages in Motu and Malkangiri Districts;It is true that BJP Government will not take interest to protect the rights of hundreds of tribals and weaker sections of people who will be drowned under the Back water curve due to polavaram dam.Since A.P.state is pleading that they will erect embankments of 45 feet height for a length of 30 kilo-meters along the sabari river,to protect about a dozen villages,what about the hundreds of villages that will be inundated all along the streams that join the sabari river over a length of 30km,from Motu/konta?The height of the flood water level level expected will be 200 feet as per the A.P.state report on Environmental impact essment report of May,1985 as submitted to the Union Government.The Chief Engineers and secretaries for irrigation in Chattisgarh must be pressurised to look into the tropo sheets in their offices of this area and calculate the number of villages to be submerged and the people to be displaced Let the chief Minister cooperate with orissa Chief minister in essing the impacts of polavaram dam on Bastar District and let people be allowed to know facts as per Right to information Act prof.T.Shivaji Rao,B.E[Civil Engg]M.S.[Environmental Engg.Rice University,Texas,1062],Hony-Director,Department of Environmental studies,,Gitam University,Visakhapatnam,phone No 09949319038 and 0891-2504902