Orissa, Chhattisgarh questioned on dam panel’s report


New Delhi : The Supreme Court Tuesday asked Orissa and Chhattisgarh to file their response to a report by a committee which said that the construction of Polavaram Dam in Andhra Pradesh was in conformity with the Godavari Water Disputes Tribunal award and the approved project plan.

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An apex court bench of Justice Mukundakan Sharma and Justice Anil R. Dave sought the response from the two states after it was given the report by the expert team.

The court would hear the case next in September.

The apex court by its April 11 order asked the expert team comprising former member of Central Water Commission (CWC) M. Gopalakrishnan, member (designs and research) of CWC S.P. Kakran and member (Water Planning and Projects) of CWC M.E. Haque, to visit the dam site and submit its findings on whether the construction of the dam was in compliance with the tribunal award.

The committee had submitted its report to the court on June 14, 2011.

The committee said that damage due to floods would be more in extreme circumstances in the event of nature unleashing its fury and the same was factored in.

The findings of the expert committee seem to have come as blow to the Orissa government which had sought a stay on the construction of the dam on the grounds that it would lead to the submergence of a large area with tribal population.