Hyderabad, Nov 3 (IANS) Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister K. Rosaiah Wednesday ruled out a public hearing in the neighbouring states of Orissa and Chhattisgarh over the controversial Polavaram dam as directed by the union environment ministry.
A day after the ministry sought explanation from Andhra Pradesh for beginning work on the project without holding public hearings in Orissa and Chhattisgarh, Rosaiah said here that the objections over the multi-purpose project on Godavari river were 'not valid'.
He told reporters that the environment ministry gave approval to the project only after it was satisfied with the state's clarifications on how it would prevent submergence of land in neighbouring states.
'How can we conduct a public hearing in those states? We have already taken adequate measures to prevent submergence of land in those states and the union ministry was satisfied with it,' he said.
Rosaiah reiterated that the state government would send a suitable reply to the green ministry.
The chief minister said he had been trying to talk to Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh since Tuesday but could not reach him.
Rosaiah said the state had requested the central government to expedite the process to declare Polavaram a national project.
The central ministry has asked the state government to reply within 10 days why a public hearing on the project had not been held on Polavaram, which was given environmental clearance in 2005.
Both Orissa and Chhattisgarh have been opposing the Rs.12,000 crore project on the ground that it would submerge their villages.
Polavaram, if built, will be south India's biggest dam, providing irrigation to 7.19 lakh acres in the uplands of the East Godavari, West Godavari, Visakhapatnam and Krishna districts
The dam, to be built to a height of 150 ft, will have storage capacity of 75 tmc ft and provide drinking water to 25 lakh people in four districts. It is also expected to generate 960 MW of electricity.