- Recent Rehabilitation efforts have caused significant cultural Trauma for the Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups in the region.
- Polavaram is a National multi-purpose irrigation project on the Godavari River in Andhra Pradesh.
- It will facilitate an inter-basin water transfer from the Godavari River to the Krishna river through its Right canal.
- Its reservoir spreads in parts of Chhattisgarh and Orissa States also.
- The project is a multipurpose major terminal reservoir project for the development of Irrigation, Hydropower and drinking water facilities.
- The project was started in 2008, accorded national status in 2014 in the Andhra Pradesh Bifurcation Act.
- Although The Andhra Pradesh government extended the completion date to the 2022 Kharif season, work is still pending on the project.
The necessity of the project
- Creation of Irrigation potential : Domestic & Industrial Water supply to the cities, towns & villages en route and Steel Plant and other industries in the vicinity.
- Utilisation of Hydroelectric Power.: Development of Pisciculture, Navigation for Mineral & Forest produce and urbanisation besides tourism with new picnic spots.
- Flood Control: The floods in the Godavari are causing damage to standing crops and loss of property and cattle-worth several crores in the plains, with the help of the Polavaram Irrigation Project flow of the river can be regulated.
- Navigation: The Polavaram Project facilitates cheap and quick transport of forest produce and food grains to the marketing centres
- Rehabilitation: It can affect the social, cultural and economical structure of the region considerably. Especially forcing people, whose settlement areas and lands remain underwater to migrate, affect their psychology negatively.
- It could result in the submergence of a considerable amount of its territory, including protected tribal areas.
- Many PVTG’s like Konda Reddis have their life intertwined with the river.Rehabilitation of such groups far away from the river causes unbearable harm to their Tribal culture.
- Destruction of Habitat : The water regime may change as a result of the destruction of nature, unexpected floods may occur and consequently vegetation and natural structures in the riverbanks can be damaged.
- Affects Fauna: Normal passing ways of territorial animals can be hindered.
- The implementing authorities should take into consideration the cultural dependence of the tribal people on the river while considering their rehabilitation.