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Make all records of stalled Polavaram project public: CIC to Environment Ministry

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

The Environment Ministry was recently advised by the Central Information Commission to disclose all the reports related to Rs 16,000-crore stalled Polavaram dam project on its website after explaining to an RTI applicant that tracing all the documents of last ten decades will be very intricate.

The RTI applicant named, Suresh Kumar, an environment scientist, asked the ministry to reveal all the relevant documents relating to the impact assessment of the controversial project in Andhra Pradesh but was later advised that it will be very difficult to locate all the documents.

According to Kumar, the website has breached Section 4 (1)(b) of the RTI Act as it doesn’t have any information about the abandoned project that led him to file an RTI.

A Ministry official in defense, claimed that all the allegations were false, since most of the information was available on the website.  The official however, said that some documents were still awaiting digitization and that they would be posted on the website soon.

“The delay was the result of external pressures such as other projects, court cases before the Supreme Court, National Green Tribunal, and High Court besides Parliament related works”, he said.

Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu said, “The Commission agreed with the contentions of the appellant that the ‘failure to trace records’ would not exempt the public authority from their duty to provide the information sought.”

“The Commission also directs the PIO to furnish copies of environmental clearance given at the first instance, and also file notings, correspondences along with minutes of meetings when the issue of environmental clearance was revisited for Indira Sagar Polavaram project in West Godavari district in Andhra Pradesh,” Acharyulu said.

Therefore, the Information Commissioner directed the Ministry to post all the available facts and details of Polavaram project on their official web page.

The project has been regarded as a national project by the central government as it will provide water for both dam and irrigational purposes. The project attained much attention when Odisha and Chhattisgarh argued that the project was flooding their land.

 

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Rajdhani Express To Display Odisha’s Art, Culture And Heritage

Odisha's art, culture and heritage will be on display on the exteriors of New Delhi-Bhubaneswar Rajdhani Express

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Odisha, art, culture, heritage, Rajdhani Express
NALCO will sponsor high-quality designs on vinyl wrapping sheets to drape the Rajdhani trains. Wikimedia Commons

Odisha’s art, culture and heritage will be on display on the exteriors of New Delhi-Bhubaneswar Rajdhani Express.

East Coast Railway (ECoR) and National Aluminium Limited Company (NALCO) on Monday signed an agreement in this regard.

NALCO will sponsor high-quality designs on vinyl wrapping sheets to drape the Rajdhani trains. The ECoR has three sets of train rakes of Rajdhani Express.

The designs have been made such that each coach will have a distinct display. The designs will adorn the exteriors of the train, said an ECoR official.

The designs will promote three themes – dance forms, archaeological monuments and flora and fauna of the state.

“This will go a long way in promoting tourism potential of Odisha and promote traditional Odishan art,” said Ajoy Behera, ECoR principal chief commercial manager.

Odisha, art, culture, heritage, Rajdhani Express
The designs will promote three themes – dance forms, archaeological monuments and flora and fauna of the state. Wikimedia Commons

These designs will be placed between the glass windows of the coach on exterior side. There will be two more strips, one at the top and the other at the bottom, reflecting various designs in traditional Pattachitra form.

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Nalco’s designs and logos will also feature on the coaches. Reputed designers and agencies have been engaged in the exercise. (IANS)