Andhra Pradesh: Nara Lokesh criticizes govt on Polavaram Project

Amaravati: Telugu Desam Party general secretary and MLC Nara Lokesh stated on Wednesday that the Polavaram project is affecting the entire state of Andhra Pradesh and not just the lives of 1.90 lakh tribals who were evacuated for the construction of the project.

The Polavaram project is a multi-purpose irrigation project which has received a lot of attention over the past few years for displacing approximately 276 villages across the state of Andhra Pradesh. While environmental groups were concerned about the damage the project could do to the environment and the local populace, leaders from CPM and TRS were worried about the submerging of agricultural land.

Lokesh challenged AP chief minister Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy’s government to discuss the assurances made by the YSRC government in disbursing the packages he promised the ousted tribals. He further added that TDP was fully prepared to prove with video evidence how CM Jagan Reddy made a variety of empty promises on different occasions but did nothing more than betray the ousted families.

Nara Lokesh conducted a tour of the Polavaram project’s affected areas in East Godavari and spoke to the families. He also enquired about the problems of the tribal evacuees at Rampachodavaram, Indukur, Pedavempalli, and Devipatnam areas.

Lokesh claimed that the Indukur village oustees told him that they received zero money from the 50 crore package allotted to them and neither was the list of evacuees eligible for the package made public.

Addressing tribals at Rampachodavaram, Nara Lokesh stated that the promise made by AP CM on disbursing a Rs 10 lakh package to each affected family proved to be hollow. Mockingly, Lokesh added that the Chief Minister would not complete the Polavaram project but he might bring ‘Polavaram’ liquor bottles to the people instead.

Mr. Lokesh questioned the rationale behind the Jagan Reddy Government completing just 4 percent works on the lifeline Polavaram project till now and said that the previous TDP government spent Rs 11,000 crore in 2014-2019.