Vijayawada: The Andhra Pradesh government has urged the Centre to clear Polavaram project pending bills worth Rs 1,600 crore to enable them to take up all works including land acquisition, relief and rehabilitation (R&R) and others in an expeditious manner.
Union secretary (water resources) Pankaj Kumar reviewed the progress of Polavaram works with the AP officials from water resources department and also with Polavaram Project Authority chairman J. Chandrasekhar Iyer, virtually from New Delhi on Thursday.
The officials said that the Union secretary directed them to expedite the R&R works that displaced people at 42.5 meters contour level by the end of July, when the officials informed him about the closure of upper cofferdam to enable diversion of water from the main course of Godavari river through spillway. Nearly 17,600 project-affected people at 41.5 meters contour level and about 9,800 project-affected people need to be rehabilitated in July and August as the river witnesses floods.
The state officials informed Pankaj Kumar about the pending bills worth Rs 1,600 crore. Informing him that bills pertaining to works worth Rs 570 crore were set aside, they urged the central official to clear the bills in toto, and not component-wise, in order to enable them to expedite the works. However, they were told that to get approval for the second revised cost estimates of the project worth Rs 47,725 crore, the Union cabinet has to give its approval.
AP water resources secretary J. Syamala Rao, engineer-in-chief C. Narayana Reddy and Polavaram project chief engineer B. Sudhakar Babu attended the review meet....