Andhra Pradesh government puts off mega projects deadlines

The targets set for 2018 in the sunrise state are being postponed to 2019.

VIJAYAWADA: The targets set for 2018 in the sunrise state are being postponed to 2019. Polavaram, the capital city, coastal corridor, Amaravati Express Highway, a mosquito-free state were targets set to be completed in 2018. But due to various reasons, including the less-than-cordial relationship with the Centre, most of the projects’ deadlines have been postponed to 2019. To the state government’s credit, the Polavaram project has been initiated to some extent and the administrative city’s designs have been finally approved and completed, though it did take an inordinately long period of time. All other projects are in different stages of approval and planning and have been assigned fresh targets for 2019.

It is fact that post bifurcation, residual Andhra Pradesh had to start from scratch. Many projects were therefore initiated by the TD government on a priority basis and keeping in mind, the general elections of 2019, progress was earmarked and targets set for 2018. Polavaram is one of the most prestigious projects of the state government. It took complete responsibility of the project construction and did many reforms to complete the work as early as possible. Despite criticism from many quarters, Mr Naidu’s government took up the responsibility of this national project, and he reiterated many times that the work would be completed by 2018.

Accordingly the work was shared with many contractors, including Transstroy, the company that eventually was the main contractor. But the State was unhappy with the company's work. State issued a tender notice under 60 C, setting aside the Polavaram Project Authority suggestion and Union water resource ministry guidelines. In this situation it is very tough to give water by 2018 from Polavaram. But now the government has changed its stance and CM himself said that it will be completed by 2019.

The state government had also promised to complete all 29 irrigation projects that are underway but so far only 4 projects works have been completed. The remaining 25 are still under construction. The Vamsadhara project rehabilitants resisted the work till they could get the RR package; this was recently forcibly done and the work is now under progress. Even Kuppam Drinking Water scheme that was slated to be completed by 2018 is yet to be completed. The TD’s other promises that included providing employment for five lakh unemployed youth in IT, ITES and manufacturing sector is also far from being fulfilled with not even 1,00,000 youth having got the promised employment.

The government had a target to complete the capital city by 2018, by completing the construction of Assembly, High Court, Secretariat and other government office complexes. But critics of the government state that it has failed miserably in this regard too as it couldn’t even finalise the designs till December 2017. Though the designs have been finalised now, and construction will start soon, it will take one more year to complete the minimum number of structures in the capital city. Among the other targets set by the state government for 2018 was achieving 80 per cent on the Happiness Index, making the state open-defecation-free, a mosquito-free state, 50 per cent green cover, biometric attendance, amenities in government schools were some of the targets but so far not even a single target has been met fully.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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