New Delhi, December 18: Odisha BJD MPs on Thursday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Polavaram issue, Odisha drought situation. They also sought Rs 2200 crore drought assistance to the state and conferring Bharat Ratna on late Biju Patnaik. They urged the PM to impose restrictions on the Polavaram project until a decision in this regard is taken in the court.
National River-Linking Project, which works under the aegis of the Indian Ministry of Water Resources, was designed to overcome the deficit in water in the country. As a part of this plan, surplus water from the Himalayan rivers is to be transferred to the peninsular rivers of India.
As per reports, Rajya Sabha MP Anang Udaya Singdeo said all the three states Telegana, Chhattisgarh and Odisha must be consulted regarding the Polavaram issue and besides, experts need to be roped in to assess the magnitude of its adverse affect on the tribals, livelihood livestock and forests of the three states.
This exercise, with a combined network of 30 river-links and a total length of 14,900 kilometres (9,300 mi) at an estimated cost of US$120 billion (in 1999), would be the largest ever infrastructure project in the world. In this project's case, the Godavari river basin is considered as a surplus one, while the Krishna River basin is considered to be a deficit one.
As of 2008, 644 tmcft of underutilised water from Godavari River flowed into the Bay of Bengal. Based on the estimated water requirements in 2025, the Study recommended that sizeable surplus water was to be transferred from the Godavari River basin to the Krishna River basin.
The members of the delegation also urged the Prime Minister to confer Bharat Ratna on legendary leader late Biju Patnaik.