PIL on Polavaram project component struck down

PIL on Polavaram project component struck down

The Andhra Pradesh High Court struck down the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) challenging the Centre’s decision not to bear the Rs 7,214 crore component of the Polavaram project, which envisages supply of drinking water to Visakhapatnam city.

The PIL was filed by Ramesh Chandra Varma of Amalapuram seeking directions to the Centre to consider the component of drinking water supply to Visakhapatnam city as part of the Polavaram project. When the PIL came up for hearing before the bench of Chief Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra and Justice N Jayasurya, the petitioner’s counsel M Srirama Rao informed the court that the Centre announced in Parliament that the Rs 7,214 crore component to supply drinking water was part of the Polavaram project. However, the same was dropped from the project later, the petitioner said, adding that the Centre was bound to implement the assurance given in Parliament.

The bench said the courts could not direct the Centre to fulfil an assurance given in Parliament. It also said it could not interfere in the matter and struck down the PIL.

Polavaram Project

The Polavaram Project is an under construction multi-purpose irrigation project on the Godavari River in the Eluru District and East Godavari District in Andhra Pradesh. The project has been accorded National project status by the Central Government of India. Its reservoir back water spreads[6] up to the Dummugudem Anicut (i.e. approx 150 km back from Polavaram dam on main river side) and approx 115 km on Sabari River side. Thus back water spreads into parts of Chhattisgarh and Odisha States.

It gives major boost to tourism sector in Godavari Districts as the reservoir covers the famous Papikonda National Park, Polavaram hydro electric project (HEP) and National Waterway 4 are under construction on left side of the river. It is located 40 km to the upstream of Sir Arthur Cotton Barrage in Rajamahendravaram City and 25 km from Rajahmundry Airport.