The Andhra Pradesh Reorganization (Amendment) Bill, which was passed in the Lok Sabha on Friday, will transfer 136 villages, 211 hamlets and seven mandals of Khammam district to Andhra Pradesh, where they will become part of the East Godavari district.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh assured the Members of the Upper House that all precautions will be taken to protect the interests of Tribals who will be affected due to the Polavaram project.

"Socio-economic impact of the project has been taken into consideration. Andhra Pradesh government has assured Chhattisgarh and Odisha that there will be a protective embankment for as many villages as possible," he said.

However, despite the assurance of the minister, Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MPs from Odisha walked out in protest. According to the statement of objects and reasons of the Bill, this transfer will "enable the successor state government of Andhra Pradesh to have flexibility in the identification of areas for implementing the rehabilitation and resettlement aspect of the Polavaram Multi-purpose National Irrigation Project, as well as to ensure continuity in the areas that form part of Andhra Pradesh and for administrative convenience..."

The Polavaram project involves the linking of the Krishna and Godavari rivers. The dam to be built in the district of West Godavari would enable the storing of 832,000 million cubic feet of water. This is expected to facilitate irrigation of an additional 232,000 acres in Andhra Pradesh.

(Agencies)

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