Centre extends approval for construction on Polavaram project

Polavaram project, Prakash Javadekar-The Federal
Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar on Wednesday announced the extension of approval for work on the Polavaram project in Andhra Pradesh. Photo-PIB

The Centre on Wednesday extended the approval for construction works to be carried out on the Polavaram irrigation project in Andhra Pradesh in a bid to complete it quickly.

The approval overrides a ‘stop work’ order issued by the environment ministry in 2011.

After a meeting with Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu, who hails from Andhra Pradesh, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said in Delhi said he had signed an order extending the stay on the ‘stop work’ order by two years.

“The Modi government has given it (Polavaram) the national project status. This time we thought the project needs faster work. Therefore, we have given (it) two year extension,” Javadekar said at a press conference.

The stay was initially issued in 2015 under the first term of the Narendra Modi government and has been extended year after year.

The Polavaram project will irrigate nearly 3 lakh hectares of land, generate hydel power with installed capacity of 960 MW and provide drinking water facilities to 540 enroute villages covering 25 lakh population, particularly in Visakhapatnam, East Godavari and West Godavari and Krishna Districts.