Polavaram Project. (Photo:DC)
VIJAYAWADA: Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy said that the height of the Polavaram multipurpose national project dam would not be decreased and that it would will be completed by the 2023 Kharif season.
Speaking the Assembly on Polavaram, the CM said that the Polavaram cofferdam was built without completing the spillway, leaving three large gaps in the middle. He said the lower cofferdam was badly damaged, with a 35.6-metre-deep sock formed on the foundation and inside.
The Chief Minister said that there was a huge delay in the construction of the dam due the negligence of the previous government, which had resulted in financial losses.
Jagan Mohan Reddy said the project would be dedicated to the late Chief Minister Dr Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy whose statue will be installed at the project as it was started by him.
Brushing aside the Opposition's "malicious propaganda" that the dam’s height would be reduced, the Chief Minister stated that there would no change. "It’s God's script that the project be started by the illustrious father to be completed by his son," the House was told.
Rounding off the short discussion on Polavaram in the Assembly, the Chief Minister stated that there was a delay in getting clearance for the designs from Central Water Commission (CWC). Once this was done the project would be complete in 18 months. He asserted that the providing relief and rehabilitation of project oustees would be completed in time with the help from Centre.
Taking a dig at former chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, the CM said that the project had been handled without planning and the Telugu Desam leader could be the worst-ever visionary in world history for creating a man-made disaster.
"When the issue of cost was raised while we were in Opposition, we were gagged," Jagan Mohan Reddy said. "Efforts were made to clear the mess that had been created by the previous government and we have completed spillway works, upper cofferdam, spill channel and installed 48 gates in a very short time," he said.
On project finances, the CM said Naidu had compromised on the special category status for AP and had agreed to construct Polavaram at the 2014 price level "for the sake of commissions."
"Although it is a national project, where every cost will be borne by the Centre, Naidu took it into his hands and ruined it by accepting a special package. With this, the Centre agreed to pay only `29,027 core, while the escalated cost was around Rs 55,000 crore," the CM said, The YSRC government was still pursuing the Centre in this regard.
Jagan Mohan Reddy said that the TD government had abandoned the R&R works. The YSRC government had relocated 27 out of 373 identified places that would be affected, and had shifted 7,962 out of the 20,496 families to new areas. Since 3,228 families had opted for OTS, houses for the remaining 17,268 families were being constructed.
CM Jagan says "Not Polavaram height, TD will be cut to size"
Hitting out at the Opposition and its friendly media for falsely propagating that the height of Polavaram project would be decreased, Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy said it was not the height of the dam but the presence of the Telugu Desam that was reducing elections after elections and would be dwarfed in 2024, with TD chief Chandrababu Naidu even losing Kuppam.
Winding up the short discussion on Polavaram in the Assembly on Tuesday, Jagan Mohan Reddy ridiculed the friendly media, asking if the Prime Minister and the jal shakti minister had personally told the media heads that the height of the dam would be reduced.
The Chief Minister also presented the contrasting pictures of the Polavaram project during the TD term and the present one depicting difference and progress of work. He also poked fun at Naidu's numerous inaugurations and extravaganza on publicity and the weekly tours to Polavaram which cost a bomb to the exchequer. "We didn't even arrange a single tour to the project but are working hard to meet the deadline," he said.