Jagan crucial meeting on Polavaram


Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy on Saturday will be holding a high-level ministerial meeting on the execution of Polavaram Project.

The meeting will be attended by finance minister Bugganna Rajendranath, Water Resources Minister Anil Kumar Yadav, Special Chief Secretary (water resources) Adityanath Das, Principal Secretary (finance) Shamsheer Singh Rawat. The main agenda of the meeting will be on the grant of central funds to the Polavaram project considered as the lifeline of Andhra Pradesh.

In 2013, the total cost of the project was estimated at more than Rs 55,000 crore when Chandrababu Naidu was the first chief minister of newly formed Andhra Pradesh. Naidu has fiercely fought with the central government to release the funds to the project which was declared as a national project under the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014. However, the central government pegged the expenditure at Rs 20,398 crore and made it clear to the Polavaram Project Authority (PPA) that it would not grant funds beyond that. The Union Finance Ministry made it clear that only Rs 7,053.74 crore (at the 2013-14 price level) remains to be reimbursed, as against the Rs 47,724.74 crore (2017-18 price level) cleared by the Union Ministry of Jal Shakti (MoJS) and expected by the State.

Jagan had recently met finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and requested for a faster disbursal of funds for the completion of Polavaram project. The finance ministry made it clear that as Rs 8,614.16 crore had already been reimbursed in the last six years since April 1, 2014, the day Polavaram had become a national project, a balance of Rs 7,053.74 crore remains to be reimbursed towards the irrigation component of the project. This came as a big blow to the Jagan government.

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