A letter sent by the environment ministry to the Andhra Pradesh government, asking how it is going ahead with construction of the Polavaram project without additional environment clearances for construction of embankments is being seen in Orissa as a victory for the Naveen Patnaik government. Orissa has opposed the project, saying it will affect its areas.
"Public hearing must take place properly and the concerns of the local people, who are mainly tribal people - the compensation for them, their rehabilitation," said Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister, Orissa.
The Andhra Pradesh government which got the environment clearance in 2005 is not amused, and says it will satisfy the concerns of the Centre.
"The environmental clearance was given already. Now the environment ministry has raised some queries because some ministers from Orissa met the minister and the government has written to us. We will reply to them suitably," said K Rosaiah, Chief Minister, Andhra Pradesh.
The Polavaram project has been the Congress government's pet dream since the days of YSR, and its efforts all this while have been to persuade the Centre to grant it national status so that the Centre takes care of the bulk of the funding.