Bhubaneswar, 30 May-2014, TNN: Chief minister Naveen Patnaik will discuss the controversial Polavaram issue when he meets Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other Union ministers during his weeklong visit to New Delhi ending June 4, official sources said.
“I have asked for appointments from the Prime Minister and new central ministers regarding Odisha affairs,” Naveen told mediapersons here before leaving for the national capital. This is Naveen’s maiden trip to Delhi since he took over as the CM on May 21 for the fourth successive term.
Official sources said though Naveen’s itinerary is yet to be finalized, he is expected to get a date with Modi next week. “He will definitely take up the Polavaram issue,” a source said.
Naveen, also BJD president, will focus on party work and attend the BJD parliamentary party meeting this week, sources disclosed. He is also likely to call on leaders of other political parties during his stay.
During his meeting with Modi, Naveen (who skipped Modi’s swearing-in ceremony on May 26) is expected to reiterate the Odisha government’s opposition to the Centre establishing the Polavaram Project Authority (PPA) for executing the multi-purpose project on Godavari, sources said.
This could coincide with the state government moving the Supreme Court (SC) again on Polavaram. “We will within the next few days intimate SC about the steps the Centre has taken as regards Polavaram, although the matter pending before it,” water resources secretary Suresh Mohapatra told TOI on Thursday.
On May 4 in the run-up to elections, Naveen had flayed Modi and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi for supporting Polavaram and accused the two of working against Odisha’s interests.
The state government, for the uninitiated, has moved the Supreme Court against construction of Polavaram and requested for lowering of the dam’s height to prevent submergence of areas in Malkangiri.
According to People Against Polavaram Project, a body spearheading the stir against the project, at least 129 villages and 4,932.22 hectares, including 1,451.51 hectares of agricultural land, in Malkangiri would be submerged if the project comes up.