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Polavaram project delay to cause INR 28K crore burden to Andhra – Mr Ramachandra Rao

Infra News - Published on Fri, 17 May 2019

Image Source: Hindustan Times
Hindustan Times quoted senior Congress MP Mr KV P Ramachandra Rao as saying that the delay in execution of the Polavaram irrigation project being constructed on Godavari river in Andhra Pradesh is set to cause a burden of over INR 28,000 crore on the state government exchequer. The construction of main dam of the project which began in 2012 picked up pace only after the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh in June 2014 and was expected to be completed by December 2018. Chief minister Mr N Chandrababu Naidu claimed before the elections that the project would be completed to a large extent by June 2019 and parts of the project ayacut would get water from the canals through gravity.

However, during the visit to project site on May 6 to review the progress of works, Naidu expressed helplessness in supplying water by gravity this year and revised the deadline for project completion to June 2020.

The Congress MP, in a representation to Governor E S L Narasimhan in Hyderabad, said Naidu was trying to defend himself saying he could not complete the project as per schedule due to non-release of funds by Central government. He said that “Naidu has kept the people in dark as to what is the financial responsibility of state due to the delay.”

Mr Rao pointed out that as per AP Reorganisation Act, the Polavaram project was declared as a national project and the Centre had agreed to provide 100 per cent funding of the project. “As per the act, it was the responsibility of the Centre to fund and execute the project through Polavaram Project Authority (PPA), a special purpose vehicle constituted for the purpose. But, the TDP government had never transferred the assets and liabilities of the project.”

He said that in September 2016, the execution of project was handed over to the state government on Naidu’s request with a condition that the state should bear the burden of cost escalations due to cost and time overruns. “Naidu government intentionally delayed the preparation of revised cost estimates and started payments to contractors from state funds,” he alleged.

The Congress leader pointed out that the NDA government had started imposing several conditions on Polavaram expenditure, including the one that the Centre would bear the cost of the project at 2013-14 prices only. While the state government had submitted revised cost estimate of the project at Rs 55,548.87 crore at 2017-18 prices, the Technical Advisory Committee of Ministry of Water Resources in its meeting in February 2019 gave its approval only for INR 27,081.62 crore as per 2013-14 price level.

He added that “It will mean, the remaining cost of INR 28,467.25 crore will have to be borne by the state government and the burden will fall on the tax payers of the state.”

Source :

Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Fri, 17 May 2019
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