Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and his counterpart in Andhra Pradesh K Rosaiah differ on holding public hearings on the controversial Polavaram project being developed by the neighbouring state.
Patnaik today said that public hearings "have to" take place in Orissa on the Polavaram multi-purpose project, while Rosaiah yesterday ruled out possibility of conducting any such exercise in the state (Orissa).
"Public hearings have to take place in areas within the state which are likely to be affected by the Polavaram project," Patnaik told reporters replying to a question on Rosaiah's remark.
Rosaiah had on Wednesday said that there was "no question" of Andhra Pradesh conducting public hearings on Polavaram project in Orissa and Chhattisgarh as directed by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest.
This apart, Rosaiah had also described Orissa's objection on Polavaram project as "not valid".
Stating that there was no alternative to holding public hearings in Orissa's Malkangiri district where a large chunk of tribal land and forest were likely to be inundated due to Polavaram project, Patnaik said he was hopeful of a meaningful public hearing in order to give justice to the tribals.
"I have already apprised the Centre on the state government's concerns over Polavaram project and its impact on the tribal people in Malkangiri district," Patnaik said adding that the state government would "keep an eye" on the progress of Polavaram project in the neighbouring state.