Centre promises to bear polavaram project cost

The central and state governments would complete the construction within a year, Gajendra Shekawat said

KAKINADA: The Union Minister for Water Resources Gajendra Shekhawat has said the central government would bear the entire cost of the Polavaram Project. The central and state governments would complete the construction within a year, he said.

The minister said that, to facilitate the reviews of the construction and release of funds, the Polavaram Project Authority office would be shifted to Rajamahendravaram. Meanwhile, the state officials requested the Union minister to fix Rs 55,548.87 crore as the project cost based on the 2017-18 price index and include a drinking water project component in the project.

Chief Minister Jagan Mohan and Shekhawat reviewed the construction progress at the site in West Godavari district on Friday.

Shekhawat told the officials a clear plan of action should be prepared to evacuate the project-displaced families from their villages and move them into rehabilitation colonies. Monthly reports should be sent to the Union Ministry of Water Resources.

The chief minister apprised the Union minister of the progress of the project and urged him to release funds as and when they are spent and not on a component basis.

The release of funds on component basis is slowing down works. The progress of execution of the right and left canal works are slowing down due to component-based controlling system and the PPA had not uploaded some of the bills till now, the CM said.

He said that there was a vast gap between the time when the works were done by the state government and the time the reimbursement was by the central government.

The project authority had refused to release Rs 859.59 crore to the state government.

He suggested that if the central government takes the total construction as a component and releases funds once in every 15 days, it will help the state vis-a-vis the flow of cash. He also said the officials had not prepared the designs and works to cover the erosion area at the lower Coffer Dam and ECRF construction area.

The CM said that with the shifting of PPA office to Rajamahendravaram, the inspection of the construction can be done frequently and coordination problems would not arise. He requested the Union minister to pay the compensation amounts to the victims through the Direct Benefit Transfer method. He also proposed that the Union minister should review the progress of the project once every 15 days.

Shekhawat asked the officials to prepare designs in such a way as to solve the erosion problem in the lower cofferdam and Earth Cum Rock Fill dam areas of the project site. He also said a dashboard should be set up to keep track of the progress.

District collector Prasanna Venkatesh, PPA CEO Chandrasekhar Ayyer, state ministers Kannababu, Anil Kumar, Perni Venkatramaiah, Srinivasa Venugopala Krishna, and TVanitha were present.

Earlier, Jagan and Shekhawat interacted with the R&R Colony people of Taduvai village in West Godavari district. Chintapallil Sandhya Rani of Koida village in Velerupadu mandal said that hospitals should be set up in R&R colonies as these people have to go all the way to Aswaraopet in Telangana -- a distance of 70km from Taduvai village for medical treatment.

Next Story