The Central Government, the Union Jal Shakti Ministry and the Central Water Commission (CWC) are giving as much embarrassment as possible to the AP Government on the issue of Polavaram project funds. As per the AP Reorganisation Act, the Centre has declared Polavaram as a ‘national project’ and promised to bear all the costs. Now, the Centre is saying it will not bear the Rs. 30,000 Cr cost towards the land acquisition and resettlement component.
In yet another blow to the Jagan regime, the Jal Shakti Ministry and the Union Finance Ministry are saying that Rs. 4,730 Cr was spent on Polavaram before it was declared as the ‘national project’. As such, those funds would also be considered as the Centre’s contribution under the project now. So, this would be deducted from the payments to be made to AP in future. The latest stand of the Jal Shakti Ministry came as a severe blow to the State Government. Each passing day, one crisis or another is hitting the State’s lifeline irrigation project which has the potential to fulfill water needs of almost all districts in the State.
Alarmingly, the Polavaram Project Authority is also not cooperating with the AP Government considering the fact that the Authority was ignored by CM Jagan Reddy right from the beginning. The Authority has warned against going for retendering on Polavaram but Jagan regime did not care at all. Instead, AP Ministers bypassed Authority officials and took up the issue with Union Ministers directly at that time.
Now, one by one, many hurdles are being created in the flow of Central funds for Polavaram. It is well known that AP is in deep financial crisis and it cannot take up this project with its own funds. Doubts are growing since the Centre is also showing greater unwillingness to interfere or to get involved in the project.