NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has on Wednesday, imposed a fine of Rs 25,000 on the Central government for failing to file a counter against a plea put forward by the Odisha government. The State government of Odisha had earlier approached the apex court opposing the construction of the Polavaram project citing environmental concerns.
Coming to the details, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik wrote a letter to the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, requesting to halt the construction of Polavaram project until the Odisha government gets clarification on some issues of concern. But, the AP government has not responded to the letter.
On the other hand, when asked about the government's reaction to the letter, Andhra Pradesh State Water Resources Minister Devineni Umamaheswar Rao said, "We are moving ahead after acquiring all the necessary permissions from various departments. The state government will not listen to all these complaints, planned by the opposition party to stop the construction of Polavaram. We are committed to finishing the project by 2019".
However, the Odisha government in its petition to the Supreme Court stated that the Polavaram project is being constructed without a clearance from the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. Further, the government of Odisha argued that the Polavaram project may submerge about 8,000 acres of forest cover, 500 acres of Wildlife sanctuary and 600 habitations in four states. The key demand of the petitioner is to clarify their doubts before going ahead with the construction of the project.
As the Central government failed to file a counter to the petition, the apex Court has imposed a fine of Rs 25,000 while ordering the NDA government to come forward with necessary information within two weeks.