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Centre rejects Rs 750 crore funds to Polavaram Project

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In a blow to the Jagan-led government, the Polavaram Project Authority (PPA), a special purpose vehicle constituted for the purpose, has rejected disbursal of Rs 750.118 crore to the state government.

The Andhra Pradesh government had spent so far spent Rs 12,505 crore between April 2014 to July 2020 on the Polavaram project. Of this, Polavaram Project Authority has declined to reimburse Rs 750.118 crore to the state government, Minister of State for Water Resources Rattan Lal Kataria told the Upper House. He was responding to a question raised by YSRCP MP Vijayasai Reddy.

Vijayasai Reddy told the House that so far the central government has reimbursed Rs 8,577 crore. The YSRCP Rajya Sabha MP informed the House that the Polavaram Project Authority is yet to reimburse Rs 478.65 crore.

Rattan Lal Kataria stated that the Water Resources ministry had on September 15 received a letter (dated August 25) from Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy seeking early release of the central funds as the state government was serious on completing the project by December 2021.

In the letter, Jagan had stated that the government requires around Rs 15,000 crore for the completion of the project by next year and pressed upon the centre to direct the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development(NABARD) to acquire the amount as loan.

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AP not giving Polavaram re-tender details: Centre

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The Central government has asked for a detailed report from the Jagan Government on its Polavaram re-tendering process. But AP has not forwarded any report on this so far. On his part, Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekawat is waiting for this report to take a final decision on how to proceed ahead. He told this to BJP AP leaders that he would not be able to tell whether Rs. 870 cr could be saved without looking at re-tender documents.

BJP delegation led by Kanna Lakshminarayana met and requested the Union Minister to take steps for completing Polavaram at the earliest. Mr. Singh said that he would be able to act fast only when Jagan Circar sends latest situation report on the project. Kanna has also requested for shifting Polavaram Project Authority office from Hyderabad to Vijayawada or Kovvur.

It is now clear that CM Jagan is not able to go forward in regard to Polavaram project. His regime is deliberately causing delay in further progress in the project works. But BJP is demanding immediate re-start of works to ensure early completion. AP is afraid that if details of re-tendering are formally given, the Centre is likely to cancel the same and take the project under its control.

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BJP master stroke to Jagan on Polaravaram

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Andhra CM Jaganmohan Reddy has given lots of embarrassment to Modi Regime both within and outside India. From multi-national companies to Indian Corporate Industry, everybody is totally disappointed with Jagan’s parochial policies. Expectedly, Modi-Shah duo have taken a final, tough stand against Jagan. Their immediate master stroke is going to be with regard to the Polavaram life-line irrigation project of Andhra.

Analysts say that the Centre has almost decided to cancel Jagan re-tendering contract given to Megha Krishna Reddy. The Union Jal Sakti Ministry will take up the unfinished 30 per cent project works. This will not be a big deal for the Centre considering just Rs. 5000 Cr required for this. If this is done, BJP can claim credit for completing Polavaram while, at the same time, it can reverse Jagan’s adamant re-tendering plan.

BJP is giving another big shock to Jagan Regime. The Centre will not take responsibility for Rehabilitation and Resettlement (R&R) works of Polavaram evacuees because it will require Rs. 33,000 Cr. Jagan Circar will be made accountable for R&R works. Obviously, to implement this plan, BJP AP President Kanna Lakshminarayana’s is visiting dam site to give a report to Polavaram Project Authority.

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HC orders probe: Janasena petition on Naidu

Jana Sena leader Pentapati Pulla Rao expected political tremors in national capital following his petition in Delhi High Court. He asked for a full-fledged probe into irregularities in Polavaram project during Chandrababu Regime. But the HC just handed over his petition to the Union Water Resources Department and ordered it to conduct a probe. Already, the Water Resources Ministry and the Polavaram Project Authority have given a clean chit to Naidu in this matter.

Pulla Rao is a senior leader but he missed a simple point that Naidu has not been badly caught in any scam or controversy in his 40 years political industry. Rao should have remembered the fact that the Central Water Resources officials have outright defended Naidu when CM Jaganmohan Reddy complained about TDP scam in Polavaram.

Analysts say that in big irrigation projects, escalation of cost and R&R packages would always be locked in some controversy or other. Leaders get caught only in blatant violations and unexplainable financial transactions. This is what has happened during YSR Regime that eventually led to arrests of many politicians and IAS officers in CBI assets cases. Pulla Rao has obviously not made any new complaints in his petition.

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Polavaram reverse tender goes to Megha Krishna Reddy

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As expected, the Jagan Reddy government has given the multi-crore Polavaram works to its most favoured company. PV Krishna Reddy of Megha Engineering got the reverse tender works. He quoted nearly 13 per cent less. While the government invited tender for Rs 4,987 Cr, Megha Krishna Reddy offered to take up the works at just Rs 4,358 Cr. These works include Polavaram Head Works, Earth cum Rockfill Dam and Hydel Project.

Jagan Circar blindly cancelled the previous ongoing contract works allotted to the Navayuga Engineering Company by Naidu Regime. There is also a court case pending. Even the Central Government took serious objection to Jagan decision.

Megha Krishna Reddy is the contractor for Telangana CM K Chandrasekhar Rao’s multi-crore Kaleswaram lift irrigation project. There are allegations that KCR had influenced Jagan to favour Megha.

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TDP corruption in Polavaram exposed: YCP Minister

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Irrigation Minister P Anil Kumar Yadav strongly defended the ongoing ‘reverse tendering’ taken up on Polavaram project works. He said that the latest bid on a Rs 300 Cr work revealed that Rs. 50 Cr is saved for the state government. The Minister said that it’s now clear how the TDP indulged in massive corruption in its regime. One company made the bid for a work at 15.6 per cent less now. The same company bid for similar work at 4.7 per cent excess during the TDP Rule.

The Minister accused Ex CM Chandrababu Naidu of making baseless allegations over ‘reserve tendering’ to favour a particular company. Even the old Navayuga company can also take part in the tenders. In a small work, the YCP Regime could save Rs 50 Cr and much more public money would be saved in the coming days. He said that over Rs 50,000 Cr worth works are yet to be taken up in the project. The TDP is spreading misinformation that 71 per cent works were already completed. Anil Kumar said that Naidu was apparently suffering from jealousy over positive image for Jagan Circar in project savings, job creation and welfare programmes.

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Jagan ultimate betrayal on Polavaram height?

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AP Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy is single-handedly taking all the major decisions that will do more harm than good to Andhra people. The worst fears are coming true regarding Polavaram as well which is considered AP’s multi-crore, lifeline irrigation project. As per reports from Telangana TRS circles, Jagan had already agreed to CM K Chandrasekhar Rao’s request for reducing the height of Polavaram dam. This is going to be finalized and confirmed when the two Telugu CMs meet in Hyderabad on September 24.

Till now, KCR has not done a single good thing to improve the lot of Andhra. He talked a lot about separating like two brothers during reorganization. Now, KCR is using all his gimmicks to hurt and reduce AP to a pauper state. In the Telangana Assembly itself, KCR talked about reducing the height of Polavaram. Jagan is childishly agreeing to this. It is well known how Karnataka goes on increasing the height of its dams. Jagan is turning blind to such basic issue of protecting state interests.

If Polavaram height is reduced, it will raise issues of lesser water availability for farmers and also pose flood threat to villages in Godavari districts.

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Andhra cancels Polavaram power project contract

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The Andhra Pradesh cabinet on Wednesday cancelled the Rs 3,216.11 crore worth Polavaram Hydel Power Project contract and called for new tenders in the reverse tendering process.

Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy chaired the meeting that decided to cancel the contract given to Navayuga Engineering Company Limited by the earlier Telugu Desam Party government.

It also decided to recover the advance amount given to Navayuga.

This is the second major contract lost by Navayuga. The government had in August terminated the contract for works relating to the Polavaram Irrigation Project valued around Rs 3,000 crore.

Both the contracts were awarded by the TDP government.

The Centre is funding the Rs 58,000 crore Polavaram project being built across the Godavari river. It was declared a national project under the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014.

The Jagan cabinet also withdrew approval of 412.5 acres of land allotted to Machilipatnam Port Private Limited (MPPL) as the company neither started the work nor paid the rent for the land given.

Navayuga is the lead promoter in MPPL.

In February, the then Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu had laid the foundation stone for the deep seaport to be constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 12,000 crore.

The Jagan cabinet also approved the extension of the ban on Maoists for another year, besides approving increase of salaries of ASHA workers from Rs 3,000 to Rs 10,000.

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AP reverse move against High Court order?

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The AP High Court single bench already issued stay order to the Jaganmohan Reddy government on the re-tendering process of Polavaram hydel project. Later, the government appealed against this order before a division bench which posted the case hearing for September 4. As of now, the case is pending before the court. But the AP government went ahead with the re-tendering process by inviting e-tenders online.

This has triggered discussions among the political and official circles on the bold intentions of Jagan Circar. Legal experts say that the government’s action is in violation of the court orders. This will attract the contempt of court sections. The orders of the single bench will remain in force until and unless they are reversed by the division bench. Official circles say that the government does not want to waste time which is why it has gone ahead with tender invitations.

On the other hand, there is no update on the decision of Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendrasingh Shekawat on the report of Polavaram Project Authority. Shekawat has been opposing reverse tendering on Polavaram project from the beginning. The Central government has given a clean chit to Navayuga Company but Jagan Regime continues its allegations of irregularities in this project during TDP rule.

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Union Minister asks Jagan to wait on Polavaram

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CM Jaganmohan Reddy’s Delhi visit has raised lot of curiosity on the fate of Polavaram re-tenders. There were expectations that Jagan would convince Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekawat. Jagan told them the same old story of how TDP committed irregularities. However, there was no immediate assurance from both Shah and Shekawat to AP CM. On his part, Shekawat asked Jagan to wait for two more days by which time he would study the issue and take a final decision. Jal Shakti Minister has already gathered information from his ministry officials on the entire controversy.

Surprisingly, Jagan once again brought up the subject of irregularities in Polavaram project. This is what is leading to AP’s differences with the Centre. The Polavaram Project Authority and the Union Ministry officials are saying that there are no irregularities and that they gave approvals to Chandrababu Regime on nomination works.

Now, Minister Shekawat told the media that there was no plan before the Centre yet on taking over the project. After meeting with Jagan, Shekawat said that he will look at Project Authority report and then take a decision. PPA CEO RK Jain has been constantly saying that no irregularities were there in the project during TDP Circar. Analysts say that CM Jagan may be embarrassed in this thing as Shekawat is likely to discuss with Modi and Shah on the overall issue. They may also consider views of BJP AP leaders who want the Centre to take up Polavaram works and execute them under Project Authority supervision.

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BJP sketch to claim credit for Polavaram completion

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The ruling YCP in Andhra is in for a major shock soon politically. The BJP leaders have begun a secret plan to take control over the remaining works of Polavaram project. Their big plan is to get the Centre complete Polavaram and then claim the credit for successfully completing the state’s lifeline irrigation project. For decades, Polavaram has been like a sentiment that was long unfulfilled for various reasons. Even the previous Chandrababu government could complete only 70 per cent works. The major part of relief and rehabilitation works is still pending.

The BJP Andhra leaders are hell bent on removing control of Jagan Circar on the project now. BJP national spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao, former minister Manikyala Rao and other leaders are already holding talks with Polavaram Project Authority CEO RK Jain and other Central officials on how to go about the project completion.

The BJP leaders’ activities have sent shock waves among YCP leaders. Jagan Regime is not in a position to either oppose the BJP’s intervention in Polavaram works nor support the same for political reasons. On their part, BJP Andhra leaders want to highlight Polavaram completion as one of their major achievements to ask for votes. They are going forward with a clear plan as their strong belief is that the Modi-Shah duo are going to hold Jamili One Nation One Election in 2022.

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Will adamant Jagan dare to complicate court cases?

The AP IAS were overjoyed in the beginning as CM Jaganmohan Reddy cheerfully received them and addressed them as ‘annas’ (elder brothers). They thought that the CM would be very friendly and that he would take along with him all of the officials to give an efficient administration. What they missed was how some leaders always look very friendly and use endearing terms like ‘anna’ for everybody. Over the weeks, these officials realised that Jagan would not only ignore their advice but that he would not like taking their advice at all.

Consequently, AP got its first blow as the High Court reversed Jagan’s re-tendering orders on Polavaram hydel project. Now, AP CM is left with very limited options. He has become a victim of the circumstances created by himself. He could not take a quick decision whether to go forward or not. Going back on past commitments is not in the blood of Seema leaders. If Jagan prefers to challenge High Court order, then it will lead to prolonged litigation which means inordinate delay that may take months and years.

Now, for the first time, Jagan is holding serious reviews on Polavaram court case with senior officials of irrigation and energy departments. Can officials advise Jagan to give up his obstinate stand and follow the advice of Polaravam Project Authority and the Centre? They may not. Analysts say that it is now up to Jagan to change his attitude keeping in view overall interests of the state.

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Scene reverse on Polavaram Rs 4900 cr re-tender

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The Modi government at the Centre is all set to take a closer and critical look on the controversial reverse tendering process begun by CM Jaganmohan Reddy on Polavaram and other projects. Union Minister Gajendrasingh Shekawat has asked Polaravam Project Authority (PPA) to submit a report on what problems would emerge if re-tender is allowed. This is expected to be the first step being made by the Centre towards taking total control of Polavaram project eventually.

As it is, the Rs. 58,000 crore Polavaram project was declared as a national project with the Centre providing the funds. However, the works execution is given to AP during TDP regime for the sake of faster completion of works. PPA CEO RK Jain has asked Jagan Circar not to cancel the previous tenders but his appeal has been ignored by AP.

Within 24 hours of a special request made by RK Jain, the AP government issued re-tendering for Rs. 4,900 cr works. AP’s adamant attitude has obviously angered the Centre. Minister Gajendrasingh has already clarified in Lok Sabha that re-tendering is not good as it would lead to cost escalation and also inordinate delay in project implementation. Now, the Centre is complaining that technical and design coordination will become another big problem to complete Polavaram if new contractors enter the scene.

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AP reverse tender for Rs 4900 Cr: Centre ignored

Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy preferred to set aside the Centre’s request for reconsidering reverse tender for Polavaram project works. AP irrigation officials told Jagan, who is in America tour, about Polavaram Project Authority CEO RK Jain’s letter. They informed how the Centre may take the issue seriously if reverse tender is called without its approval. There is a chance for Centre to cancel AP decision. But Jagan ignored this and ordered the AP officials to go ahead. Eventually, the AP notification for re-tendering for Rs 4900 Cr was released on Polavaram.

Of this amount, Rs 1800 Cr is for Polavaram head works while the remaining Rs 3,100 Cr is for the hydel power project there. The reverse tender is notified in the AP irrigation project website. Now, there’s speculation on the reactions from the Polavaram Project Authority and the Centre. BJP AP leaders say that it’s going to disturb the Centre-State relations.

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Polavaram in uncertainty and confusion?

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Polavaram Project Authority CEO RK Jain gave a big shock to the AP government on its efforts to call for new tenders. He asked the YCP government to postpone the re-tendering till the Central Government took a final decision on the issue. In a tone of warning, Jain asked Jagan Team how proper coordination could be possible between technical experts of new contractors on the overall project design and execution.

Jain stated this in a letter to AP irrigation officials. He recalled their discussions held in Hyderabad on August 13 and asked why the state government is not taking Centre’s views into consideration. Jain’s fresh letter indicated the Centre’s critical stand. It’s for the first time that Jain talked about issues of coordinating and project design. As a result, AP’s lifeline irrigation project is landing in uncertainty. On his part, Minister Anil Kumar Yadav is taking Jain’s letter very lightly. He says that Jain is referring to the irregularities allegedly committed during Naidu regime. Anil Yadav is not talking about Jain’s cautionary request to postpone re-tendering.

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Has Jagan Circar made poor arguments before NGT?

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The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has ordered the AP government to stop the multi-crore lift irrigation projects of Pattiseema, Purushottampatnam and Chintalapudi with immediate effect. The orders were issued as there are no environmental clearances for these three projects. The NGT issued the orders based on the petitions filed by senior leader Vatti Vasanth Kumar and Srinath Reddy.

The opposition TDP leaders alleged that AP lost the case just because Jagan Circar deliberately didn’t make strong arguments before the NGT. They are arguing that these projects will be used only till the Polavaram lifeline project is completed. But because of the petitions, Andhra can no longer use Pattiseema to divert the Godavari river waters to meet the needs of farmers in Krishna and Godavari deltas.

Now the questions are coming up whether the YCP government would file review petitions or not. Analysts say that the fate of these projects will now depend on the financial support from the Centre. Jagan Circar is giving top priority only to the Navaratnalu cash transfer schemes which are taking a lion’s share of the state’s internal revenue.

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Centre shocking reply in Lok Sabha: Polavaram

The Modi government at the Centre has made shocking comments on the reverse tendering being taken up by the Jaganmohan Reddy government on Polavaram project works. Union Water Resources Minister Gajendra Singh Shekawat told Lok Sabha that AP’s action would cause a further increase in overall costs of the project and it would cause delays. Then it would not be possible to say when the project would be completed eventually.

Replying to a query by TDP MP Galla Jayadev, the Union Minister said that the early completion of Polavaram would solely rest on the shoulders of YCP government. It is well known that though it is a national project, the state government was given approval to supervise the project works to ensure its early completion as per the aspirations of the Andhra people. It became necessary as the project was long pending with successive governments delaying it in some pretext or other.

Interestingly, the Union Minister said that he was regretting to announce that the Jagan Reddy government had removed the Navayuga Company which is carrying out the project works currently. Jagan alleged large scale allegations in the project during TDP regime which is why Navayuga was dismissed. But the Centre has been saying there were not such irregularities. The present issue triggered doubts over the Centre’s future support for the Polavaram project works.

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Jagan Circar shocking decision on Polavaram

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The Jaganmohan Reddy government has issued orders asking the Navayuga engineering company to step out of Polavaram project. It’s being considered as a shocking decision. Who will manage the 7 lakhs cusecs flood in the Godavari in the next few weeks? Navayuga engineers are asked to vacate the project immediately without alternative arrangements.

The issue triggered heated exchanges between the YCP and the TDP leaders. The opposition leaders say that Jagan Circar is taking all arbitrary decisions only to promote the interests of its favourite companies. TDP says that the ruling YCP is going to give the remaining Polavaram works to its leaders. This will dilute the quality of works.

Navayuga has nothing to lose if it’s thrown out. The company is carrying out huge works worth thousands of crores outside Andhra as well. The BJP government at the Centre has not yet commented on the removal of Navayuga.

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Video: AP CM YS Jagan reviews Polavaram project works

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Will Jagan give Polavaram water to farmers?

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There are fears among the farmers in villages in Krishna and Guntur districts that they may not get Polavaram water for the coming crop season. Rumours are spreading that the project works will not progress because of the YCP’s changed priorities. The crop lease values are also coming down drastically because of loss of hopes on the Pattiseema water as well.

The second level YCP leaders and MLAs are also expressing helplessness as they don’t have any information on the subject. CM Jaganmohan Reddy has talked more about alleged corruption in the Polavaram project rather than his plans to complete the project.

Irrigation Minister Anil Kumar Yadav couldn’t give any assurance on water supply as he devoted most of his time to finding scope to take revenge against the previous Chandrababu Naidu government. Analysts are saying that the farmers will suffer heavy losses if the government doesn’t take immediate steps to ensure water supply. If there’s farm distress in a higher degree, it will have serious implications on the other sectors as well.

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