INSUFFICIENT AND DEFECTIVE CLEARANCES FOR POLAVARAM DAM

INSUFFICIENT AND DEFECTIVE CLEARANCES FOR POLAVARAM DAM

Annual Report for 2008-2009 of Department of Water Resources,

Government of Orissa (November 2009)

http://www.dowrorissa.gov.in/AnnualReport/WR_AR08-09.pdf

 

1. POLAVARAM PROJECT  (Pages 95 to 97)

Government of Andhra Pradesh have proposed to construct a Multipurpose project across river Godavari near Polavaram at 42 kms upstream of existing Godavari barrage near Rajmahendry in the West Godavary district of Andhra Pradesh. In the inter-state meeting held on 15.12.78, it was decided to go for the construction of Polavaram project in such a manner that maximum submergence in Orissa territory should not exceed RL 150ft at Konta/Motu due to all effects including back water effect.

Bachawat Award on Polavaram:

Further as per agreement dated 02.04.1980 the co-basin states agreed upon that the discharging capacity of the spillway may be 36 lakh cusecs at RL + 140 feet and an operation schedule was also prescribed.

The Godavari Water Dispute Tribunal (GWDT) passed its final order during April 1980.

Clause(VI) of the order states that the Polavaram project shall be cleared by the Central Water Commission (CWC) as expeditiously as possible for MWL/FRL 150ft. The matter of design and its operation was left to CWC keeping in view all the agreements and change in operation schedule to be done in consultation with co-basin states. The design aspect was left entirely to CWC by GWDT.

AP State estimates backwater curve impacts:

During the inter-state meeting held on 26.2.1997, Government of Andhra Pradesh intimated that at 36 lakh cusecs design flood the water level may go up to RL 182 feet due to back water effect. As a result 7 villages (1026 ha of land) in Orissa territory are likely to be affected.

Further Govt. of Andhra Pradesh intimated during March 2001 that 10 villages and 2119.38 ha. of land were likely to be affected in Orissa territory. 648.05 ha. of land would be submerged at RL 150 ft. which includes 102.16 ha. of reserve forest in Orissa territory. These values are based on the remote sensing data.

MoEF Clearance for Polavaram:

While the issue of submergence in Orissa remain unresolved. The Ministry of Environment & Forest, Government of India have granted environmental clearance to the project on 25.10.2005 based on design flood of 36 lakh cusecs. In the meanwhile, the design flood of the project has been revised by CWC to the order of 50 lakh cusecs. As such, the environmental clearance given to this project can not be treated as valid and has to be revoked as the Environmental clearance was given basing on design flood of 36 lakh cusecs.

PIL before Supreme Court:

Sri R.Vidya Sagar Rao, Retired Chief Engineer, C.W.C had filed a petition before the Central Empowered Committee (constituted by Hon’ble Supreme Court of India) challenging the Forest & Environment clearance accorded by the Ministry of Environment and Forest, Govt. of India dated 25.10.2005.

The officers of Government of Orissa appeared before the C.E.C on 26.6.2006, 26.7.2006 and 29.8.2006 and strongly opposed the proposed Polavaram project of A.P. Government.

Orissa High Court Judgement,2006:

Hon’ble High Court of Orissa has passed order in the Misc Case No.3117 of 2006 arising out of W.P. No.3669/2006; “It is open to the State of Andrha Pradesh to proceed with the construction of Indira Sagar (Polavaram) Multipurpose Project after complying with the requirements of all laws applicable in this regard in such manner that no land/village/area within the territory of the State of Orissa is submerged.”

Orissa CM demands modification of Polavaram project:

Hon’ble Chief Minister, Orissa has requested the Hon’ble Prime Minister, Hon’ble Union Minister of Water Resources, Hon’ble Union Minister of F&E and Hon’ble Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh to reformulate the Polavaram Multipurpose project without any submergence in Orissa territory as socio-economic situation of Orissa has undergone a sea change since 1978.

R & R Clerance by MOTA,2007:

The Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India have granted R&R clearance to the project on 17.4.2007.

Orissa files a suit in Supreme Court against AP State:

Government of Orissa have filed a suit in the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India against the Government of Andhra Pradesh under Art 131 of the Indian Constitution on 09.10.2007 with prayer

(a) To declare that the first defendant has no right or entitlement to undertake or proceed with the construction of Polavaram Project (now known as Indira Sagar Project) on Godavari river at Polavaram.

(b) To declare the clearance of the Government of India, Ministry of Environment & Forests dated 25.10.2005 as illegal and null & void.

(c) To declare the tribal clearance given by the Secretary (Tribal), Government of India, Ministry of Tribal Affairs, New Delhi as null & void.

(d) To grant a permanent injunction restraining the A.P. Government from undertaking or

proceeding with the construction of Polavaram Project (now known as Indira Sagar Project) on Godavari river at Polavaram or order to defendant to lower its heights so as not to submerge the territory of Orissa State.

(e) To declare the permission of Central Water Commission vide its letter No.6/125/2007

PAC(S) dated.11.04.2007 to construct embankments as null & void as is not based on

any technical data. CWC has not done any investigation. Further, no data has been supplied to Plaintiff State of Orissa by CWC before giving its decision.

(f) To grant a mandatory injunction to remove all its structures related to the Polavaram Project (now known as Indira Sagar Project) on Godvari river at Polavaram being executed by the A.P. Government.

NEAA cancels Environmental clearance:

Environmental clearance granted by MOEF on 25.10.2005 in favour of Polavaram Project has been set aside by the National Environment Appellate Authority (NEAA) vide order dt.19.12.2007.

Govt. of Andhra Pradesh challenged this order in Andhra Pradesh High Court and A.P High court has suspended the order of NEAA on 31.12.2007. A counter affidavit has been filed by F&E Department , Government of Orissa in WP No.27787 of 2007, WPMP No.36348 of 2007 and WVMP of 2008 in the High Court of Andhra Pradesh requesting to vacate the interim order dated 31.12.2007.

Suit No.4 of 2007 in Supreme Court:

A written statement has been filed by MOTA on Suit No.4 of 2007, the State of Orissa Vrs State of Andhra Pradesh and others in the Supreme Court of India. A written statement has also been filed by Govt. of A.P. on Suit No.4 of 2007, the State of Orissa Vrs State of Andhra Pradesh and others in the Supreme Court of India. The rejoinder to the above written statement has been prepared by Govt. of Orissa and filed in the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India.

 

TAC Clearance for Polavaram, 2009:

The TAC clearance for the project has been accorded on 23.01.2009 by Central Water Commission as per the stipulation given below:

1. The project authorities shall give to the MOEF the details of the proposed protection bunds along Sabari and Sileru to prevent Submergence in Orissa and Chhattisgarh in accordance with orders of Hon’ble High Court of Orissa and condition imposed by MOTA and MOEF and takes their concurrence before construction of these protection embankments.

2. The project authorities shall furnish confirmation report to MOTA that there is no change in the number of project affected ST family and ST population from what was reported at the clearance of R&R plan by MOTA.

3. The State of Andhra Pradesh shall ensure that there is no submergence of any habitations or forest area in Orissa and Chhattisgarh as assured by them by constructing protective embankments with adequate drainage arrangements.

4. The project authorities shall fulfill the stipulated conditions of MOEF and MOTA as  laid down in their respective clearances.

Orissa files case against TAC in Supreme Court: February 2009:

The application for stay of operation of the clearance granted by TAC of CWC in respect of Indirasagar ( Pollavaram) Project for Andhra Pradesh on 20th January 2009 and injunction restraining A.P Government from proceeding further with construction work in respect of the project has been filed in the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India on 16.02.2009.

Also the rejoinder to the written statement filed by MOTA on suit 4 of 2007 has been filed in the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India.

Forest clearance for Polavaram, Dec. 2008:

Forest clearance to the project has been accorded by MOEF on 07.12.2008.

Action is being taken for filling counter to the Forest clearance granted by MOEF in the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India.

CHRONOLOGY OF IMPORTANT EVENTS RELATING TO POLAVARAM PROJECT

S.No.

Date

Particulars

1.

July, 1941

Original conceptualization of project by the then Madras Presidency

2.

1951

Sir SV Rama Murthy proposed a Ramapadasagar scheme with 130meters dam height and a 1500MW of power generation capacity, but it was not pursued due to geological reasons.

3.

1965

A technical committee headed by AC Mitra recommended a barrage at Polavaram to irrigate uplands.

4.

April, 1969

Godavari Water Disputes Tribunal was formed

5.

1969

Andhra Pradesh government named the project as Polavaram and made a case before the tribunal for river control work at Polavaram

6.

1970

Andhra Pradesh presented a project report for Polavarasssm barrage with 145ft height dam and two canals.

7

1978

Andhra Pradesh submitted another project report to the Central Water Commission for construction of earth-cum-rock fill dam at 150ft height

8.

04-08-1978

11-07-1979

02-04-1980

Inter-state agreements with Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Orissa with a dam height of 150ft.  CWC considered project as a barrage and hence accepted 36 lakhs cusecs as the spillway design flood for Polavaram.

9.

03-04-1980

Agreements placed before Godavari Tribunal and finalized

10.

31-04-1983

Dr.K.L.Rao reiterates that Polavaram is under-designed and unsafe.

11.

1985

Detailed project report of Polavaram project completed

12.

1987

Project Report submitted to the CWC

13.

1996

R&R reports prepared through Centre for Evaluation of Socio-Economic Studies

14.

June, 1999

Dam Break Analysis report for Polavaram by National Institute of Hydrology, Roorkee, a wing of Union Ministry of Water Resources

15.

2002

EIA-EMP prepared by Environment Protection Training & Research Institute based on data of 1996

16.

16-09-2005

EIA-EMP updated by M/s AFC Ltd. Hyderabad during 2005 submitted to MoEF including an incomplete report on dam-break analysis.

s18.

4,5-09-2005

The Expert Committee constituted by the MoEF visited the project site.

19.

10-09-2005

APPCB publishes notification for public hearing to be held on 10-10-05

20.

16-09-2005

Application for site clearance filed

21.

16-09-2005

EIA submitted to MoEF

22.

16-09-2005

Chief Engineer, Indira Sagar Project, wrote to Member Secretary Orissa Pollution Control Board seeking clearance.

23.

17-09-2005

MoEF asks clarifications on EIA

24.

19-09-2005

MoEF gives site clearance

25.

29-09-2005

Chief Engineer, Indira Sagar project writes to District Collector, Malkangiri, Orissa seeking rehabilitation details

26.

10-10-2005

Public hearing held at 5 places in E.Godavari, W.Godavari, Khammam, Visakhapatnam and Krishna (Excluding Orissa and Chattisgarh)

27.

18-10-2005

AP Pollution Control Board grants consent letter to establish the project

28.

19-10-2005

A power point presentation given in the Expert Committee meeting held at Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF)

 

29.

20-10-2005

Replies to the queries posed by the Experts submitted to MoEF

30.

25-10-2005

Ministry of Environment and Forest clearance

31.

12-12-2005

Application for forest clearance

32.

February, March-2006

AP High Court hears a batch of writ petitions filed by some political parties opposing the project and the judgment reserved

33.

27-04-2006

Central Empowered Committee (CEC) of Supreme Court advises Andhra Pradesh Government to stop works of the project when it heard objections raised by tribal rights activists and environmentalists

34.

30-04-2006

Andhra Pradesh Government complies with CEC suggestion and stops the project works

35.

10-07-2006

Central wildlife board gives clearance

36.

29-07- 2006

The CEC of SC tours Andhra Pradesh and visits the project sites.

37.

22-03-2006

Orissa High Court passes orders over a writ petition restraining AP from submerging lands in Orissa due to Polavaram Project.

38.

25-04-2006

MoEF accepts Orissa High Court order and informs AP state to make it an addendum to Environment clearance letter dt. 25-10-2005

39.

10-01-2009

To avoid submersion in Orissa AP state proposes Rs.600 crore embankments project and submits to MoEF for Environmental clearance

40.

15-01-2009

For consideration by the TAC Union Ministry of Water Resources asks MoEF on the status of Environmental clearance for combined Project

41.

20-01-2009

MoEF Considers that embankments project is treated as change of scope of Polavaram and wants fresh Environmental Appraisal of Polavaram.           

42.

20-01-2009

But TAC of Ministry of Water Resources gives conditional clearance without waiting for supplemental environmental clearance for Polavaram.

43.

17-02-2009

Environmental Appraisal committee considers Embankments project and directs AP to get public hearings conducted in Orissa and Chattisgarh.

44.

09-03-2009

MoEF directs AP to get consent for Embankments project from Orissa and Chattisgarh to construct 30km embankments over Sabari and Sileru

45.

10-10-2009

APGENCO submitted detailed project report for Polavaram Hydro-power plant of 960MW for clearance from Central Electricity Authority.

46.

14-10-2009

Orissa High Court bench admits petition against Polavaram and issues notices to AP state, Orissa and Central Government officials. Orissa filed a suit in Supreme Court (February) for suspending of work on Polavaram

47.

04-12-2009

NGO of Hong Kong request PM to stop acquisition of Tribal land for construction of Polavaram under copy to MOTA and HR Commission.

48.

16-03-2010

Central Electricity Authority(CEA) return the Detailed Project Report(DPR) for Polavaram Hydro-power plant for resubmission after obtaining Hydrological clearance from Central Water Commission

49.

26-04-2010

Union Minister of State for Electricity Shri.B.S.Solanki answered in Rajyasabha to question by Nandi Yellayya that AP State has not furnished information and did not resubmit DPR for hydropower unit of Polavaram project for clearance by the CEA(see Eenadu,dt.27-4-2010)

http://www.cea.nic.in/hydro/Status%20of%20Project%20Clearance/Monitoring%20Matrix.pdf

50.

27-04-2010

Petition filed by Chattisgarh Environmental Protection Board for transferring cases pending against Polavaram project in AP High Court to the Supreme Court is posted for hearing during August 2010.

CLARIFICATIONS:

  1. According to condition No.6 in the Environmental clearance letter dt.25-10-2005.                 “In case of change in the scope of the project , the project would require a fresh appraisal”
  2. In the MoEF letter dt.20-1-2009 it was mentioned that if embankments are proposed on the rivers to stop submergence in Orissa and Chattisgarh it will be treated as change of scope of the project and as per condition No.6 of Environmental clearance letter dt.25-10-2005 the proposal needs fresh appraisal.
  3. In the letter from MoEF dt.9-3-2009 sent to AP state it was mentioned that on a petition filed against Polavaram project by Sri.Laxman Munda the Orissa High Court ordered on 22-3-2006 that “It is open to the State of Andhra Pradesh to proceed with the construction of Indira Sagar (Polavaram) Multipurpose project after complying with the requirements of all laws applicable in this regard, in such manner that no land/village/area situated within the territory of the State of Orissa is submerged”. Following the above order of Hon’ble High Court of Orissa communicated to the Government of Andhra Pradesh vide letter dated 25th April 2006 that the direction of Hon’ble High Court of Orissa also may be treated as an addendum to the above environment clearance letter dated 25th October 2005.   Further it is stated that “Government of Andhra Pradesh has reassured vide letter No.42137/Maj.Irrgn.1(1)/2008 dated 10th January, 2009 that by undertaking adequate measures through bunds/ embankments,  drainage sluices and pumping arrangements, no land will be submerged in Orissa and Chattisgarh and there will be no displacement of any population.  As construction of bund on the river was not considered by the then Expert Appraisal Committee, neither details were given in the EIA, EMP report, the Ministry wanted to examine the impacts on surroundings for construction of the proposed bunds etc.  As such the details of construction of bund was submitted to the Ministry for appraisal.
  4. At its meeting held on 20th  January, 2009 the technical advisory committee of Union Ministry of Water Resources gave conditional clearance for Polavaram project subject to the following conditions.

a)      The project authorities shall give to the MOEF the details of the proposed protection bunds along Sabari and Sileru tributaries  to prevent submergence in Orissa and Chhatishgarh in accordance with orders of Hon,ble High Court of Orissa and conditions imposed by MOTA (Ministry of Tribal Affairs)  and MOEF (Ministry of Environment and Forests) and take their concurrence before construction of these protection embankments.

b)      The project authorities shall furnish a confirmation report to MOTA that there is no change in the number of project-affected ST (Schedule Tribes) families and ST population from what was reported at the time of clearance of R&R (Rehabilitation and Resettlement) plan by MOTA.

c)      The State of Andhra Pradesh shall ensure that there is no submergence of any habitations or forest area in Orissa and Chhatishgarh as assured by them by constructing protective embankments with adequate drainage arrangements.

d)      The project authorities shall fulfil the stipulated conditions of MOEF and MOTA as laid down in their respective clearances.

 

 

 

 PART-I

 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Environmental clearance for Polavaram project by MoEF

 No. J-12011/74/2005-IA.I,                                         25th October 2005

 Government of India

Ministry of Environment & Forests,New Delhi-110003

The Secretary (I & CAD)

I&CAD Department,A.P. Secretariat

Hyderabad

 Subject - Indira Sagar (Polavaram) Multipurpose Project in West Godavari District Andhra Pradesh - Environment Clearance regarding. 

Sir, 

1.This has reference to your letter No. CE (Hydrology)/EE-IV/DEE-II/AEE/1866/Vol-III-1, dated 10.10.2005 & subsequent letter dated 20.10.2008 on the subject. 

2.   The above referred proposal was considered by the Expert Committee for River Valley & Hydroelectric projects at its meeting held on 19.10. 2005.  The project   is a intended to provide Irrigation facilities to 2.91 lakh hectares in Visakhapatnam, East Godavari under Left Main Canal and West Godavari and Krishna Districts under Right Main Canal.   The project is across the river Godavari.   This project besides providing Irrigation facilities in the aforesaid manner will also generate hydel power of 960 MW, divert 80 TMC of Godavari water to Krishna River for stabilizing the existing command under Prakasam barrage and provides drinking facilities to 540 enroute villages covering 25 lakhs population together with water supply to Visakhapatnam city and to industries enroute. Total land requirement for the project is 46060 hectare and out of that 3279 ha. is forest land. Forest clearance yet to be obtained.  Total 1,93,35 persons are likely to be affected by this project, out of that 1,75,275 persons in Andhra Pradesh and 6,316 persons from Orissa and 11,766 are from Chattisgarh. Public hearing was held on 10.10.2005. The capital cost of the project is Rs. 9072 Crores.

 3.   The Ministry of Environment and Forests hereby accords environmental clearance as per the provision of Environmental Impact Assessment Notification-1994, subject to the strict compliance of the terms and conditions mentioned below - 

Part - A: Specific conditions 

i)    34500 ha. degraded area shall be brought under CAT (Biological) . In addition to this, gully plugs, check dam, percolation tanks etc. will also be done under engineering measures. The action plan for Catchment area treatment s proposed in the EMP report is reproduced below:

 Recommended treatment

1st year

2nd year

3rd year

4th year

5th year

Total.

Biological treatment (in Ha.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

a) Afforestation and re vegetation

750

1500

2250

1500

1500

8500

b) Social Forestry

1500

1500

1500

2250

2250

9000

c) Vegetative barriers

3600

3600

3600

3600

3600

18000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Engineering Treatment (in Number)

 

 

 

 

 

 

a) Gully plugs

700

600

600

600

600

3100

b) Rock fill dam

440

440

440

440

440

5000

c) Percolation tank

20

20

20

20

20

100

d) Check dams

60

60

60

60

60

300

e) Continuous contour trenches

70

70

70

70

70

350

 

ii)   Total 1,93,357 persons are likely to be affected by this project, out of that 1,75,275 persons in Andhra Pradesh and 6,316 persons from Orissa and 11,766 are from Chattisgarh. The project-affected families will be rehabilitated as per Andhra Pradesh Government's R & R policy -2005 and same package also should be provided for the project affected persons from the Orissa and Chattisgarh State. 

iii)   A monitoring committee should be constituted which must include representatives of project affected persons from SC/ST category and a women beneficiary. The committee would also attend the Grievance Redressal of the affected peoples. 

iv)  Commitment made during Public hearing by the project authority on different issues should be fulfilled. 

v)   Forest Clearance should be obtained for acquiring 3279 hectare forest land & submitted. 

vi)  As proposed a fish ladder would be constructed for migration of fishes.

vii)  Occurrence of stagnant pools/slow moving water channels during construction and operation of the project providing breeding source for vector mosquitoes and other parasites. The river should be properly channelised so that no small pools and poodles are allowed to be formed.  Even after taking precaution, due to unforeseen situations, breeding of mosquito and resultant malaria or mosquito borne diseases can increase. If such a situation arises, it will be the responsibility of project authorities to take all corrective steps i.e. residual insecticidal spray in all the project impact area and surrounding 3 Km. area, keeping the flight range of mosquitoes in consideration. 

viii) Any other clearance from any other organization if required should be obtained. 

Part -B. General conditions 

i)    Provision of supplying kerosene or cooking gas / Pressure Cooker to the labourers should be kept instead of supplying fuel wood. 

ii)   Fuel depot may be opened at the site to provide the fuel (kerosene/wood /LPG). Medical facilities as well as recreational facilities should also be provided to the labourers. 

iii)   All the labourers to be engaged for construction works should be thoroughly examined by health personnel and adequately treated before issue the work permits. 

iv)  Restoration of construction area including dumping site of excavated  materials at dam site & power house site should be ensured by leveling,   filling up of    borrow pits, landscaping etc.  The area should be properly afforested with suitable plantation. 

v)   A multidisciplinary committee should be constituted with representative  from the disciplines of forestry, ecology, wildlife, soil conservation, NGO etc. to oversee the effective implementation of the suggested safeguard  measures. 

vi)  Financial provision should be made in the total budget of the project for implementation of the above suggested safeguard measures. 

vii)  Six monthly monitoring reports should be submitted to the Ministry and  its Regional Office, Bangalore for review. 

4.   Officials from Regional Office MOEF, Bangalore would be monitoring the implementation of environmental safeguards should be given full cooperation, facilities and documents / data by the project proponents during their inspection. 

5.   The responsibility of implementation of environmental safeguards rests fully with the Irrigation Department and Government of Andhra Pradesh. 

6.   In case of change in the scope of the project, project would require a fresh  appraisal. 

7.   The Ministry reserves the right to add additional safeguard measures subsequently if found, necessary and to take action including revoking of the clearance under the provisions of the environmental (Protection) Act, 1986, to ensure effective implementation of the suggested safeguard measures in a time- bound and satisfactory manner. 

8.   This clearance letter is valid for a period of five years from the date of issue of this letter for commencement of construction work. 

9.   A copy of the clearance letter will be marked to concerned Panchayat, if any, from whom any suggestion/representation has been received while processing the proposal. 

10. State Pollution Control Board / Committee should display a copy of the clearance letter at the regional office, district industries centre and collector's office / tehsildar's office for 30 days. 

11. The project proponent should advertise within seven days from the date of issue of the clearance latter, at least in two local newspapers widely circulated in the region around the project, one of which shall be in the vernacular language of the locality concerned informing that the project has been accorded environmental clearance and copies of clearance letters are available with the State Pollution Control Board/Committee and may also be seen at Website of the Ministry of Environment and Forests at http:// www.envfor.nic.in/. 

(Dr. S. Bhowmik)

Additional Director

 

 

 PART-II

GOVT WANTS FRESH APPRAISAL OF POLAVARAM DUE TO PROPOSED EMBANKMENTS TO AVOID SUBMERSION IN ORRISA

 No.J-12011/CWCT/TAC/09-IA.I

Government of India

Ministry of Environment and Forests

 

To                                                                                                           Paryavaran Bhawan

Shri.U.K.Ghosh, Chief Engineer (PAO)                                     CGO Complex, Lodhi Road

Central Water Commission,                                                                   New Delhi-110 003

Sewa Bhawan, RK Puram,                                                                      Telefax: 24362827

New Delhi-110 066.                                                                                   Dated 20-1-2009

 

 Subject:  95th meeting of the Advisory Committee on Irrigation, Flood Control and

               Multipurpose  projects.

Sir,

1.         This has reference to your communication No.16/27/2008-PA(N)47-78 dated 15th January, 2009 on the above mentioned subject.  Out of the 6 projects, medium irrigation project at Sl.No.4 and flood control projects at Sl.No.5 & 6 do not require environmental clearance under the provisions of EIA Notification, 2006

 2.         Environmental clearance has already accorded to Teesta Barrage project in West Bengal in 1994.  In respect of restoration of Kosi Barrage in Bihar it may be noted that we have not received any proposal in this regard.

 3          Regarding Indira Sagar (Polavaram) Multipurpose project it may be noted that environmental clearance was accorded to this project on 25th October, 2005 based on the information submitted in the EIA/EMP report which was examined  by the Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) for River Valley and Hydroelectric Projects.

 4.         The TAC note circulated for this project, states on page 15 that the State Government of Andhra Pradesh has reassured vide letter No.42137/Maj.Irrgn.I(1)/2008 dated 10-01-2009 (Appendix XVII) that by undertaking adequate measures through bunds/embankments, drainage sluices, and pumping arrangement  no land will be submerged in Orissa and Chattisgarh and there will be no displacement of any population.

 5.         In this regard it may be noted that construction of bund on the river was not considered by the then EAC, neither details were given in the EIA/EMP report.  As such, if bunds are proposed on the river to stop submergence in Orissa & Chattisgarh, it will be treated as change of scope of the project and as per condition No.6 of environmental clearance letter dated 25-10-2005 the proposal needs fresh appraisal.

 

6.         Further it may be noted that a Transfer Petition (Civil) No.1159 of 2008 has been filed in the Hon’ble Supreme Court for the transfer of the Writ Petition No.27767 of 2007 pending before the High Court Judicature of Andhra Pradesh at Hyderabad.

Yours faithfully,

(Dr.S.Bhowmik)

Additional Director

 

 

 

PART-III

 Union Government directs AP State to get consent of Orissa & Chattisgarh for

second Environmental clearence for  Supplemental polavaram project[Embankments]

No.J-12011/CWCT/TAC/09-IA.I

Government of India,  Ministry of Environment and Forests

Subject: Polavaram Multipurpose project – regarding

Sir,

The above mentioned proposal was considered by the Expert Appraisal Committee at its meeting held on 17th February, 2009.  The committee noted that this project was accorded environmental clearance during October, 2005. 

On a petition filed by Shri.Laxman Munda in the High Court of Orissa Hon’ble High Court in its order dated 22-3-2006 directed that “It is open to the State of Andhra Pradesh to proceed with the construction of Indira Sagar (Polavaram) Multipurpose project after complying with the requirements of all laws applicable in this regard, in such manner that no land/village/area situated within the territory of the State of Orissa is submerged”. Following the above order of Hon’ble High Court of Orissa communicated to the Government of Andhra Pradesh vide letter dated 25th April 2006 that the direction of Hon’ble High Court of Orissa also may be treated as an addendum to the above environment clearance letter dated 25th October 2005. 

Academy for Mountain Environics filed a petition in the National Environment Appellate Authority (NEAA) against environment clearance to this project.  This project involves submergence in Chattisgarh and Orissa also.  NEAA quashed the environmental clearance as public hearing was not conducted in these two states.  Andhra Pradesh Government challenged the order of NEAA in the Andhra Pradesh High Court .  Andhra Pradesh High Court granted stay on the order of NEAA and allowed the construction work on the project.

The proposal was referred by Central Water Commission to this Ministry for comments for consideration by the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) on irrigation, flood control and multipurpose projects.  The TAC note circulated for this project, stated on page 15 that the State Government of Andhra Pradesh has reassured vide letter No.42137/Maj.Irrgn.1(1)/2008 dated 10th January, 2009 that by undertaking adequate measures through bunds/ embankments,  drainage sluices and pumping arrangements, no land will be submerged in Orissa and Chattisgarh and there will be no displacement of any population.

As construction of bund on the river was not considered by the then Expert Appraisal Committee, neither details were given in the EIA, EMP report, the Ministry wanted to examine the impacts on surroundings for construction of the proposed bunds etc.  As such the details of construction of bund was submitted to the Ministry for appraisal.

Shri.S.Joshi, Secretary (I & CAD) gave a detailed presentation on the proposal.  He stated that the scope of the project has not been changed because the height of the dam, FRL, the benefits contemplated and all other project parameters remain same and unaltered.  The project works are in progress  and an expenditure of Rs. 2239 crores has already been incurred so far on various components.  The project authority has proposed embankments on Sabari river and Sileru river.  Length of protective embankments is 30.20km in Orissa and 29.12km in Chattisgarh.  The embankments are broadly divided into three reaches depending upon the height of embankment. Under reach-1 (river Sileru). 0-10.472km will be covered with varying height upto 10m, reach-II (river Sileru and Sabari) the length will be 10.472-16.43km and the height of embankment will be between 10m to 15m, for reach-III (river Sabari) the length will be from 16.43-30km and the height of embankment will be up to 10m.  Total quantity of muck will be generated due to excavation of cut-off trenches is likely to be to the tune of 5.4lakh cum. Out of which 2.623lakh cum will be in Orissa side and 2.77 lakh cum in Chattisgarh sie.  This muck will have useful soi for embankments to an extent of 3.48 lakh cum.  The muck generation due to topsoil removal is estimated to be 4.64 lakh cum in Orissa and 5.36 lakh cum in Chattisgarh.

Shri.Joshi further stated that expenditure for construction of embankment would be costing the Government an estimated expenditure of about Rs.600.00 crores whereas the best of R&R package for few affected village population would have been only about Rs.60.00 crores.  This huge infractus expenditure has been planned due to opposition of both the States of Orissa  & Chattisgarh which would have immensely benefited the affected villages and people of Orissa & Chattisgarh.

Dr.B.P.Das has made the following observations on the proposal submitted by the Government of Andhra Pradesh.

The reservoir to be created is likely to back up along the two major tributaries.  Sabari  and Sileru submerging the overbank low lands in the States of Chattisgarh, Orissa and also in Andhra Pradesh.

No reservoir in India has embankments in its periphery to restrict the spread, which in turn creates stagnation of water during monsoon and also deprives the reservoir of its natural yield.

The area of submersion to be protected by embankments be indicated with their elevation from the deepest point to FRL of Polavaram (+150ft)

Although pumping is proposed, it can not be considered full proof because of the cyclonic storms. Chattisgarh, Orissa and Andhra Pradesh experience (in May, 1990 AP got 1000mm in Kakinda in 3 days.  Orissa in September, 1980 got 500mm in 2 days) cannot be pumped out even 7-8 days.

The most important issue is large reservoirs with high spillway capacity have been constructed on Kolab (Sabari) Balimela and Lower Sileru on Sileru.  These reservoirs will be required to spill design overflow in September-October during cyclones that will impinge   on FRL of Polavaram.  This will create much larger backwater rise, not anticipated now.

Public haring is mandatory in upper states for an inter-state project.  No information is available in this regard.

A lower FRL at Polavaram vis-à-vis the demerits of submersion in Chattisgarh/Orissa need examination.

In this connection the committee noted that CWC which is the highest competent authority of the Government of India has already approved the proposal of the Government of Andhra Pradesh for construction of embankments after taking the various relevant technical factors in to consideration and after the approval given by the CWC, the Government of Andhra Pradesh approached the Ministry of Environment and Forests for environmental clearance for construction of Embankments.

The committee also noted that the present proposal is for the construction of protective embankments along the Rivers Sabari and Sileru with a view to avoiding any land submergence in the states of Orissa and Chattisgarh, as directed by the Hon’ble High Court of Orissa.  It also noted the project was already given environmental clearance for the other components during 2005 and construction of embankments now proposed does not change the scope of the project which was cleared earlier.

It was also noted that the concerned authorities of Government of Chattisgarh and Orissa have not been informed about construction of embankment of Sabari and Sileru River on the banks located in these two states.  It was not clear to the committee how the construction of embankment is possible without co-operation from the concerned authorities of Governments of Chattisgarh & Orissa.  However, the committee noted the submission made by the Secretary (I &CAD) that earlier efforts made by the Government of Andhra Pradesh with the concerned authorities in Orissa and Chattisgarh to conduct public hearings in the respective states did not yield any responses in the past.

After critically examining all the environment related issues, the committee agreed with the technical content and contentions of proposal to construct embankments in Orissa and Chattisgarh over small sections of tributaries (Sabari and Sileru river and their tributaries)  This is also the requirement of the decisions taken by various courts of law and to avoid submergence in Orissa and Chattisgarh by other competent authorities.

  The Expert Appraisal Committee while agreeing to the proposal, however, finds the statutory requirement of public hearing as mentioned in the EIA Notification 2006 was not conducted in Chattisgarh & Orissa.  The EAC therefore directed the project proponent to initiate suitable action requesting the appropriate authorities in Orissa & Chattisgarh for conducting public hearings in the respective states of Chattisgarh & Orissa in respect of embankment proposal and report back to the committee.

Yours faithfully,                                                                        Attested

Sd/- XXXX                                                                           (Sd/-) ---14-5-2009

(Dr.S.Bhowmik)                                                                  Deputy Superintendent Engineer

Additional Director                        Indira Sagar Project  Head Work Circle, 

Dowlaiswaram         

 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

PART-IV

I.  Polavaram, TAC [conditional] clearance:[21—1-2009] 

TAC discussed the proposals in detail and finally accepted the Polavaram project proposal with the following conditions / observations.

[1]        The project authorities shall give to the MOEF the details of the proposed protection bunds along Sabari and Sileru tributaries  to prevent submergence in Orissa and Chhatishgarh in accordance with orders of Hon,ble High Court of Orissa and conditions imposed by MOTA (Ministry of Tribal Affairs)  and MOEF (Ministry of Environment and Forests) and take their concurrence before construction of these protection embankments

[2]      The project authorities shall furnish a confirmation report to MOTA that there is no change in the number of project-affected ST (Schedule Tribes) families and ST population from what was reported at the time of clearance of R&R (Rehabilitation and Resettlement) plan by MOTA.

[3]     The State of Andhra Pradesh shall ensure that there is no submergence of any habitations or forest area in Orissa and Chhatishgarh as assured by them by constructing protective embankments with adequate drainage arrangements.

[4]  The project authorities shall fulfil the stipulated conditions of MOEF and MOTA as laid down in their respective clearances.

II.  Orissa Urges to change design of entire Polavaram project

http://www.orissadiary.com/CurrentNews.asp?id=10672 [Saturday, February 07, 2009]Report by Orissa diary correspondent; Bhubaneswar: In a significant development Orissa Government on Saturday made it clear that it will not give its approval to the Polavaram Project unless the design of the entire project is changed.

 The Technical advisory committee of the Central Water Commission has approved the Polavaram Project of the Andhra Pradesh Government without discussing with the Orissa Government.
The Committee, however, laid down four conditions. It wants that no land or forest should be submerged and maximum efforts should be taken so that minimum displacement should take place. It has sent its order to Orissa to take its approval for the project. The State Government wants that on both sides of the project, permanent dams should be erected. The height of the Polavaram project should be lessened. Eleven villages of the Malkangiri district will be submerged. The proposed project of the Andhra Pradesh Government on the West Godavari River with an expenditure of Rs. 10,050 crore is opposed by the Orissa.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------PART-V. 

Orissa urges Centre not to accord ‘National Project’ status to Polavaram

http://www.orissadiary.com/CurrentNews.asp?id=13471   [   Saturday, July 18, 2009]

Report by Suchismita Sahoo; Bhubaneswar:  Orissa government on Saturday urged the Centre not to accord ‘National Project’ status to the project, which is entangled in legal controversy. In this regard Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik dashed off a strongly worded letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The state is also contemplating to file an interim petition in the Supreme Court against the project.

The contentious issue also rocked the state assembly on Saturday with the Treasury bench members expressing their concern over the Water Resources Ministry and the Central Water Commission's decision to accord ‘National Project’ status to Polavaram.

Orissa has been lodging vehement protest against Polavaram saying that the project would swamp nearly 11 villages and affect thousands of tribal people belonging to naxal-dominated Malkangiri district.

The controversial Rs.115 billion (Rs.10,150-crore) Indira Sagar Polavaram multipurpose irrigation project posed a danger to the state as the AP government had decided to raise the height of the dam.

 

Orissa court questions officials on Andhra project

October 14th, 2009 - 11:39 pm ICT by IANS

http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/politics/orissa-court-questions-officials-on-andhra-project_100260789.html

Bhubaneswar, Oct 14 (IANS) The Orissa High court Wednesday issued notices to several key officials of the central government and the Andhra Pradesh and Orissa governments on a controversial mega irrigation project in Andhra Pradesh.
“The petition was filed by Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader and former Orissa legislator Laxman Munda. The court admitted the petition and issued the notice,” Munda’s lawyer Bibhu Prasad Tripathy told IANS.

The court asked the government officials to file their replies by Nov 9.

The division bench of Chief Justice I.M. Quddusi and Justice B.K. Nayak issued notice to the key officials of the environment and forest ministry, tribal affairs ministry, Central Water Commission, and the chief secretaries of Andhra Pradesh and Orissa, he said.

Munda has sought direction to restrain the central government from declaring the Indira Sagar Polavaram multipurpose irrigation project as a national project, the lawyer said.

The Rs.10,150 crore project will be built on the Godavari river in Andhra Pradesh.

The Andhra Pradesh government says the project will provide drinking water to 2.85 million people, produce 960 MW of power and give industry 23,500 million cubic feet of water.

The project first envisioned by the British rulers in 1941 has, however, been facing opposition for decades from local residents who fear displacement, as well as from Orissa and Chhattisgarh.

After completion of the project, in case of floods, the back water of the Godavari may flow to its tributaries Sabari and Sileru in Orissa and Chhattisgarh and submerge dozens of bordering villages.

Andhra Pradesh had said it will put embankments on the river but Orissa officials said that is not the solution. Orissa has also filed a suit in the Supreme Court in February, seeking suspension of the construction work of the project.

 Stop Acquisition of Tribal Land for the Construction of Polavaram

http://acpp.org/uappeals/2009/09120409.htm

(Foreign NGO units complain to Indian Prime Minister against Polavaram project)

Summary
Homes of 117,034 people of different tribal groups and 7,964 acres of forest land in Andhra Pradesh (AP) is expected to be submerged by the construction of the Polavaram Dam Project.
The Polavaram Dam, which is located in 15 km north from Rajmundhry (East Godavari District, Northeast of AP) and crosses Godavari River at Ramaiahpet village in Polavaram Mandal (Block) of West Godavari District, is part of the India’s River Linking Project proposed to resolve the water-related problem, by transferring water from water-surplus basins to water-deficient basins. Ironically, with adequate water supply from the Godavari River, the Polavaram Dam will uproot the livelihood of the local people rather than improve it.

While the state government of AP and the central government are obliged to study the impact of the project on tribals, there was no proper public discourse and dialogue between people in the affected areas and the government regarding the construction of the dam. Moreover, contrary to the report conducted by the National Water Development Agency, the International Water Management Institution, a non-profit research and development organization, has found that Godavari rvier has no surplus water to spare. However, before fully discussing the environmental impact to the region, the state government has already rushed to start the project.

The tribals in these areas have intimate relationship with nature and depend on the forest for their livelihood, such as firewood, fruits, medicinal plants and other forest produces. Therefore, it will be difficult for them to live in non-forest areas and their suffering cannot be compensated simply by money. Also, the rehabilitation packages allotted by the government will not help them in long term, as once the tribals are displaced from the Scheduled Areas (SAs) , they will lose their constitutional rights under the the 5th Schedule of the Constitution of India (the special proection provided for Scheduled Tribes (STs) and Scheduled Castes (SCs)). They will lose their traditional strength, lifestyle and culture outside their natural habitat. Being displaced, they are most likely to become migrant labourers and urban slum dwellers to survive and this will lead to many social problems.

Contractors are believed to have received their share of money for initiating the project, although they made a written statement that the construction would not continue without necessary clearances. The local people persistently oppose the construction of the Polavaram Dam, even under threats and false accusations from government officials. In spite of the inhuman approach taken by the government, the tribals refuse to give way to injustice.

Action Requested

Please write polite letters to express your deep concern about confiscation of tribal land and displacement of tribals, and request the authorities to:

• take action to stop acquisition of tribal land and displacement of tribals from their natural habitat for the construction of Polavaram Dam;

• protect constitutionally guaranteed rights of tribal people in Scheduled Areas; and
• ensure that those who are already displaced are brought back to their original habitat and due compensation will be given for their sufferings.


‘State indecision delays Polavaram project’

M. Malleswara Rao

http://www.thehindu.com/2010/02/09/stories/2010020953100500.htm

HYDERABAD: Construction of Polavaram project is back to square one in spite of all the Central clearances, following the government’s indecision to issue fresh tenders and opposition by Telangana protagonists.

Also the expert committee appointed by the government has rejected the proposal of T. Hanumantha Rao, former chief engineer (irrigation), to construct barrages at four points across the Godavari, in place of Polavaram, to avoid submergence of 273 villages, but ensure the same benefits.

The committee comprising B. Rosaiah, T.S. Prakash Rao, Y. Lavakusa Reddy and R. Satyanarayana -- all advisers to government on irrigation -- submitted its report, stating that the construction cost of the four barrages would be Rs. 19,000 crore, as against the whole project (Rs. 10,151 crore) but the benefits remain.

If Polavaram were to be scrapped, work would have to be re-started for getting clearances for each barrage, implying years of delay.

The State would be deprived of a 960 mw hydel power station, planned as part of the project.

The committee assessed that the barrages would inundate 345 villages.

53-metre dam

The mega project aims to construct a 53-metre dam to utilise 170 tmcft of the Godavari water annually to irrigate 7.2 lakh acres in the upland areas of north Coastal Andhra and divert 80 tmcft to the Krishna delta and another 23 tmcft to Visakhapatnam, to solve its drinking water shortage.

The YSR government had pre-closed the tenders after contractors completed works worth Rs. 124 crore of the earthen-cum-rockfill dam and spillway, contending they delayed the works.

It had decided to club the two components with the powerhouse (estimated cost Rs. 3,500 crore) and give all the three to a single agency for execution through fresh tenders at an estimated Rs. 7,000 crore. Earlier, the contractors were selected as they offered to execute the earthen-cum-rockfill dam and spillway for Rs. 1,517 crore – Rs. 110 crore less than the estimated cost.

Telangana interests

Will Polavaram affect Telangana interests? On its completion, coastal Andhra will use 573 tmcft of the Godavari waters. Utilisation in Telangana will reach 685 tmcft once Devadula, Dummamgudem, Kanthanapalli, Yellampalli, Sriramsagar Flood-flow and Pranahita-Chevella are completed


EENADU, a popular Telugu daily from Hyderabad has joined the band wagon of promoters of illegal construction of Polavaram project by publishing misleading information stating that Polavaram project has obtained all the necessary clearances and hence there is no justification for the central and state Governments in delaying declaration of making Polavaram as a National Project.there are news paper correspondents for EENADU and The Hindu at New Delhi who could have been taken into confidence to verify from the concerned Union Government Ministries about the status of clearances given by them to this project thereby the people are fed with wrong information and the political parties like PRAJARAYAM Party and Telugu Desam parties are blindly following the path of agitating against the state Government which is alleged to be delaying the construction of the project even though all the permits are available.  See the following website for the major misleading news item on Polavaram project.

http://www.eenadu.net/archives/archive-25-4-2010/panelhtml.asp?qrystr=htm/panel12.htm

 




 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Shivaji Rao Tipirneni,
May 28, 2010, 6:18 AM
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