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TDP demands that justice be done to Polavaram displaced

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The senior leaders of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and MLAs, Gorantla Butchaiah Chowdary and Nimmala Ramanaidu on Monday demanded that justice be done to the Polavarm displaced.

The MLAs told media persons at the party headquarters here that the Chief Minister, Jagan Mohan Reddy, is misleading the Assembly by uttering total lies on Polavaram project. The Chief Minister is completely evasive when the TDP members demanded that justice be done to the project oustees.

The Chief Minister is taking the Assembly for a ride by forcibly sending the main Opposition TDP members outside the House, the senior TDP leaders stated. They said that when Jagan Mohan Reddy visited Polavaram as part of his pada yatra, not even foundation stone was laid for the project.

Nimmala Ramanaidu, who is the deputy leader of the TDP Legislature Party, is so specific that Jagan does not have even basic knowledge about the diaphragm wall and that the diaphragm wall is built below the surface. After Jagan Mohan Reddy became the Chief Minister the future of the Polavaram project is pushed into a dilemma, he said.

He mentioned that during Chandrababu Naidu’s regime, 71 per cent of the project works were completed while not even three per cent works have been completed after Jagan came to power. Even the Central Water Works wing has clearly mentioned this in its report, he said adding that the Minister for Irrigation too does not any knowledge where is the diaphragm wall is constructed, he ridiculed.

What is more ridiculous is that the Chief Minister on the floor of the House says that the spill-way should be constructed before the coffer-dam is built. Chandrababu, who wanted to complete the Polavaram project works by June 2020, simultaneously took up the construction works of coffer-dam, diaphragm wall, spill-way and earth-cum-rockfill dam, Ramanaidu stated.

The TDLP deputy leader pointed out that the IIT, Hyderabad experts in their report submitted to the Polavaram Project Authority (PPA) clearly mentioned that the damage caused to the diaphragm wall is not a natural calamity but it got damaged only because of some human blunder.

What Jagan Reddy will say on this and what is his reply, he asked and made it clear that the Chief Minister lost the credibility of the people and he has no right to continue in power any longer.

Violating the norms, Jagan resorted to ‘reserve’ tendering in the name of reverse tendering, he said and pointed out that the Polavaram Project Authority Chief Executive Officer, RK Jain, has clearly stated that it is not correct to change the contractor for the project works. He is also of the opinion that the Chief Minister is doing great injustice to the Polavaram displaced, who sacrificed their lands for the project.

Ramanaidu asked as to why Jagan Mohan Reddy did not condemn the statement made by his Telangana counterpart, K Chandrasekhar Rao, that the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister has agreed to reduce the height of the Polavarm dam from 45.75 metres to 41.15 metres. This clearly shows that he has some underhand dealing with Chandrasekhar Rao and Jagan is mortgaging the State’s interests for the sake of coming out of his cases, he stated.

Butchaiah Chowdary made an appeal to the people to closely observe the Assembly proceedings and the Chief Minister is collusion with the Speaker is making a mockery of the Assembly proceedings.

The Chief Minister turned the Legislative Assembly into a cinema house, he said and asked what happened to the promise made to the Polavaram displaced that he will pay an additional Rs 5 lakh each when he comes to power. Later, Jagan himself increased it Rs 10 lakh each, he said and stated that not even a single rupee is paid to them till now.

Butchaiah Chowdary said that Jagan is simply nodding his head before Chandrasekhar Rao only to protect his personal interests and to safeguard his properties in Telangana.

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Jagan’s inefficiency delaying Polavaram project works, says TDP

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Former MLA and senior TDP leader, Dhulipala Narendra on Wednesday expressed deep concern over the inordinate delay in completing the Polavaram project works and held the inefficient administration of the Chief Minister, Jagan Mohan Reddy, responsible for not completing the project.

Talking to media persons at the party headquarters, Dhulipala Narendra said that the inappropriate decisions of Jagan Mohan Reddy only added to the abnormal delay in the process of completion of the Polavaram works. “Polavaram is the lifeline of the State and the Centre has accorded national project status to it at the time of the State bifurcation,” he pointed out.

The baseless allegations made by Jagan when he was in Opposition have become a bane for the project, he felt. People’s welfare and the development of the State are on the top priority for any responsible administration. But in the case of Jagan Mohan Reddy it is totally different and Polavaram has become a victim of his self-centred political gains, Dhulipala remarked.

During Chandrababu Naidu’s regime, top priority has been accorded to Polavaram and he took every decision to see to it that the project works moved on a faster pace, he maintained. Following this, at least 71 per cent of the works were completed during Chandrababu Naidu’s rule and over Rs 7,000 cr have been spent on these works.

But after Jagan Mohan Reddy came to power he completely neglected the project and not even one per cent of the works were completed in the past three years, the former MLA said. Though the Polavaram Project Authority (PPA) has asked the Government not to change the contractor, Jagan for his personal gains transferred the contact to his close relation, he stated.

Jagan is making rounds to New Delhi only to get away from his and his close relations cases, Dhulipala Narendra said, adding that he almost surrendered before the Centre. The IIT, Chennai committee, appointed by the PPA under the directions of NITI Aayog has made it clear that the incorrect decisions and the State Government’s faulty policies are responsible for the delay in the project works, he noted. When Jagan Mohan Reddy was in Opposition he made several baseless charges against Chandrababu Naidu, he maintained.

The TDP leader said that the neighbouring States, which never dared to question the State administration, are raising the Polavaram issue now taking advantage of Jagan Mohan Reddy’s inefficiency. The YSRCP leaders looted the State hundreds of crores of rupees taking advantage of the land acquisition for Polavaram project, he said.

When someone points out the failures of the State Government, illegal cases are being foisted against such persons, he said and stated that the impatience of the State Government is because the people are openly discussing the inefficiency of the Chief Minister. Can the State Government complete the remaining works even before the completion of its present term? Dhulipala Narendra asked.

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Jagan violating Centre’s guidelines on Polavaram, says TDP

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Chief Minister, Jagan Mohan Reddy, is totally neglecting the guidelines issued by the Union Water Resources wing, the Polavaram Authority and Water Commission following which the project is getting abnormally delayed, said former minister and senior TDP leader Devineni Umamaheswara Rao.

Talking to the media here on Wednesday, Umamaheswara Rao felt that Mr Jagan Reddy has to bear the entire blame for ‘turning the Polavaram into a bane.’ The Polavaram Authority too has written to the State Chief Secretary on July 15, 2022 that Jagan Mohan Reddy is responsible for the delay in the completion of the project works.

The abnormal delay in the completion of the project is merely because the contractor and the Water Resources wing could not properly implement the plan. The State Government is totally neglecting the timely alerts given by the Centre, the former minister observed.

Also, Jagan Reddy did not heed the advice being given by the Centre for the past three years to constitute a managerial committee to supervise the works, Umamaheswara Rao said. The slow pace of project works is the primary reason for the submergence of the areas, he added.

The Centre several times pointed out that the delay in the completion of the project is only because of the faulty policies of Jagan Mohan Reddy, he stated.

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Naidu asks YCP MPs to quit to get Polavaram funds

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Former chief minister and TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu dared the ruling YSR Congress MPs to quit their posts to get funds for the Polavaram Project. He asked the YCP MPs whether they are ready to quit in the interests of the Polavaram Project displaced families.

The TDP chief is on his second day tour in the flood-hit areas of the Godavari river in the merged mandals. He addressed the flood victims at Yetapaka mandal headquarters where he sympathised with the displaced families. He blamed Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy for not visiting the flood-affected areas here. “As a responsible leader I personally came here to have first-hand knowledge,” the TDP supremo observed.

“When the TDP was in power we created the infrastructure to monitor even the landslides. Now, there is no system even to warn against the floods,” Naidu said and asked what Jagan Mohan Reddy was doing in the Tadepalle palace when the people were suffering in the flood-affected areas.

The TDP national president also said that the Chief Minister expressed his inability to complete the Polavaram project and could not pay the compensation to the displaced. “How can he claim that his party will win all the 175 Assembly seats in the coming polls? People will only give him negative marks”, he asked.

He called upon the people that they should elect their leaders after knowing their track record. “They are now witnessing what will happen if leaders with criminal backgrounds are elected,” he stated. He asked as to why Jagan Mohan Reddy failed to pay Rs 10 lakh each to the Polavaram displaced families. He even promised to pay an additional Rs 5 lakh to each family, Naidu pointed out and asked whether that amount has been paid,

Jagan Mohan Reddy’s sole aim is to come out safely from his cases and he only made a formal visit to the flood-hit areas, the TDP supremo felt and assured the flood victims that justice will be done to the affected once the TDP comes back to power.

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Naidu urges Shekhawat to speed up Polavaram

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TDP president and former Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Wednesday urged Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat to take necessary steps to complete Polavaram, AP’s multi-purpose irrigation project, at the earliest.

In a letter to Jal Shakti Minister here, Naidu underscored the importance of Polavaram as a life-line project for the farmers of the State and for its vital role in the inter-linking of rivers as a whole.

The TDP chief expressed concern that the unilateral decisions of the YSRCP Government have caused severe harm to Polavaram. The inordinate delay and faulty execution by the State Government had dealt a serious blow to the project technologically.

Naidu told Shekhawat how the Jagan Reddy-led AP Government had gone to the extent of defying warnings of the Centre as well as the Polavaram Project Authority (PPA) in the past three years. The previous TDP regime took proper decisions and completed 71 per cent Polavaram works with active support from the Union Government.

Chandrababu Naidu deplored that the inefficient YCP Government had thrown Polavaram into danger altogether. After the 2014 bifurcation, the Indian Government had given all support for constructing Polavaram as a national project as per the Reorganisation Act. Seven mandals were transferred to AP as per the Central ordinance in 2014 itself.

Expressing serious concern, Naidu told the Jal Shakti Minister that as the former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, he was greatly alarmed over the harm being done to the State’s life line, multipurpose project. The Centre should resolve these hurdles as early as possible so as to complete the project without further delay.

Naidu said that ever since coming to power, the YCP regime was taking decisions out of selfish, vested interests. On the first day on June 1, 2019, itself, the YCP Government decided to change the contractor of Polavaram works. This was despite the fact that this contract was approved by the Central organisations.

Chandrababu Naidu recalled how Polavaram works were given to another agency in the name of reverse tendering in November, 2019. It took six months for the new agency to restart work on the project. The Government did not operate the project well in the process of changing contractors. As a result, the diaphragm wall has been washed away.

The TDP chief asserted that the diaphragm was actually constructed by a renowned agency at a depth of 40 metres to 100 metres and in a record time. The PPA had also told the State Government that there was no need to change the contractor considering smooth going of works at that time.

Naidu told Shekhawat that the PPA had forewarned the YCP Government that change of contractor would cause increased financial burden besides extreme delay that would threaten the overall project itself. Still, the AP regime went ahead and issued a tender notice in August, 2019. As a result of such motivated decisions, Polavaram fell into uncertainty even as the crucial diaphragm was eventually washed away.

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Damage to diaphragm wall was noticed in March 2020

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The fate of Polavaram Project hangs in balance as new irrigation minister Ambati Rambabu raised the issue. He opened the damage issue immediately after taking charge. Though politically Rambabu has every right to shift the blame on the previous TDP government, technically he pushed the present government into controversy.

On Sunday, the Minister said that the damage to the diaphragm wall was noticed in March 2020. The same was raised in the meeting of the Polavaram Project Authority (PPA), he said.

If Rambabu is to be believed, why did his predecessor Anil Kumar remain silent on this? Why did he not reveal it and blame it on the TDP regime? Why is Ambati raising the issue now?

If the damage issue was raised in the PPA meeting, what did the PPA do since then? What did the Central Water Commission (CWC) do? What is the Union Jal Shakti Ministry doing?

Rambabu himself admitted that he is not an expert nor an engineer. But, how did he notice the damage, which his predecessor could not?

Polavaram Project is the national project funded by the Central government but being constructed by the State government. This facility was taken from the Central government when Chandrababu Naidu was the chief minister.

If the YSR Congress government is trying to take shelter by shifting the blame on to the TDP regime, what made it remain silent for all these days?

If the 2019-20 floods have caused damage to the diaphragm wall, what was the YSR Congress government doing for the past two years?

These are the questions that the YSR Congress government has to answer. The answer would decide the fate of the prestigious project.

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AP govt in a fix as Polavaram Project is in danger

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The state government is having a tough time dealing with the prestigious Polavaram Project. Though the Central government is giving funds for the project, the state government is executing the work under the supervision of the Polavaram Project Authority and the Union Jal Shakti ministry.

The project is now facing a threat with some damage to the diaphragm wall, which was constructed for the foundation of the project. The diaphragm wall is constructed when there is no rock beneath the river to ensure a strong foundation.

The TDP government had constructed the diaphragm wall on which the YSR Congress government had erected the gates. However, of late, it was found that the diaphragm wall was damaged during the 2019 floods.

Minister for Irrigation, Ambati Rambabu, alleged that the diaphragm wall was damaged as the spillway was not fully constructed by the TDP regime to take the flood waters. Because of a faulty spillway, the flood waters damaged the diaphragm wall.

The damage was noticed by the officials who reported it to the Central government. The Polavaram Project Authority, the Union Jal Shakti Ministry have asked the experts to visit the project site and see the damage and send a report.

The Minister fears that the TDP government had spent Rs 400 crore which was incomplete. The damage to the diaphragm wall would now cost another Rs 8,000 crore, he said.

He also expressed fear whether the project might require a new design if the damage to the diaphragm wall cannot be restored.

However, he said that the officials would have to give their report, based on which the State and the Central governments would take a decision.

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Jagan to pay more to those who gave land to YSR for Polavaram

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AP Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy on Friday made some mouth-watering offer to the people who have given lands for Polavaram project when his father late Dr Rajasekhar Reddy was the chief minister.

It was late Dr Rajasekhar Reddy who actually started the Polavaram Project work, including land acquisition and digging of right and left canals. The right canal brings Godavari water to Krishna while the left canal takes the water to Visakhapatnam.

It was on the right canal, which was completed by 80 per cent, that TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu started the Pattiseema Lift Irrigation Porject during his term between 2014 and 2019. The project became national project with the bifurcation of the state in 2014, with the Central government providing 100 per cent fund.

On his visit to the project site along with Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekawat, Jagan Mohan Reddy announced an additional payment of Rs 3.5 lakh per acre as compensation to those who have given their lands on the call given by late Dr Rajasekhar Reddy. The state government had paid Rs 1.5 lakh per acre in 2006, when the project was launched. Now, they would get this Rs 3.5 lakh as additional amount.

Jagan Mohan Reddy also announced another Rs 3 lakh per each displaced family as compensation, in addition to Rs 6.8 lakh being paid by the Central government for this national project. This money is in addition to the infrastructure to be provided at the rehabilitation colonies.

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Centre committed to completing Polavaram: Shekhawat

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Union Jal Shakti minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat on Friday inspected Polavaram project works and assured Andhra Pradesh that the Centre is firm in its commitment to complete the scheme by bearing its entire cost.

He, along with Chief Minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, visited Polavaram site and inspected the works on various components of the project, which has been declared as a national project by the Centre.

Addressing meetings in resettlement colonies in East Godavari and West Godavari districts, he said they were taking all steps to ensure that the first phase of the project is completed in a span of one year.

Shekhawat assured people that the Narendra Modi government will complete the project by bearing the entire cost as promised in Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act.

He assured the state government that the Centre would provide whatever assistance the state required will stand by the government unless the project completed in all manners.

He also assured displaced people that their rehabilitation and resettlement is the responsibility of both the central and state governments.

He recalled that the project was first proposed in the 1970s, and the work progressed when Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy was the chief minister of combined Andhra Pradesh but unfortunately even after 40-50 years the project could not be completed.

The central minister said the chief minister during his recent meeting with the Prime Minister discussed everything about Polavaram for its early completion.

He said that justice will be done to the families displaced by the project by accommodating them in resettlement colonies.

Shekhawat, along with the chief minister, visited Polavaram resettlement colonies including Indukuru in East Godavari district and Taduvai in West Godavari district.

They interacted with the relocated families and directed the R&R officials to pay more attention to rehabilitation works. Addressing the gathering, the chief minister said that Polavaram is a lifeline for Andhra Pradesh. He said with the completion of the project the state would become more fertile and prosperous.

Jagan Mohan Reddy said that the state government is committed to the promise made to the displaced families. The state government will provide Rs 3 lakh to each family in addition to Rs 6.8 lakh being provided by the Centre. He assured people that this promise will be fulfilled at the earliest.

He also promised to provide Rs 3.5 lakh to those families who initially gave their lands for Rs 1.5 lakh in 2006 during Y S Rajashekar Reddy regime. Besides these, he stated that livelihood training and employment programmes will also be taken up in the R&R colonies to improve employment opportunities.

Shekhawat expressed satisfaction over development of resettlement colonies and advised officials to focus more on quality. He called for providing livelihood opportunities and training in R&R colonies.

He said that the authorities have to be considerate in providing facilities to the displaced families until they get settled in the new place.

Speaking at Taduvai R&R colony in West Godavari district, Jagan Mohan Reddy said that the construction of 3,905 houses in the colony is going on full swing and soon every displaced family that contributed towards Polavaram project will receive a house with all basic infrastructure facilities. He said that livelihood training programmes will also be conducted in the R&R colonies taking support from the Centre.

The central minister and the chief minister visited the spillway, cofferdam, powerhouse and Earth-cum-Rock Fill (ECRF) dam.

Shekhawat took stock of the progress of the project and funds released with the Polavaram Project Authority (PPA) comprising officials from the Jal Shakti ministry and state irrigation department.

The state government reportedly urged the union minister to give final clearance for the Revised Cost Estimates (RCE) to the tune of Rs 47,725 crore. The Centre kept the RCE in pending for three years resulting in delay in completion of the works.

The state government is keen to complete the project by June 2023 and has been urging the Centre to keep releasing the required funds.

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Andhra govt deems Polavaram to be ATM: BJP

Andhra Pradesh Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Somu Veerraju on Tuesday castigated the state government for allegedly deeming Polavaram project to be an ATM.

“Looks like this government is also thinking that Polavaram is an ATM just like the last government,” alleged Veerraju.

His remarks echo similar comments made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi against Nara Chandrababu Naidu earlier.

On Monday, Veerraju inspected the Polavaram project along with a team of BJP leaders.

He claimed that the state government is wasting time by taking the name of Polvaram without the motivation to actually complete it.

“Instead of correctly estimating the cost of Polvaram and getting reimbursements from the Centre, they are always raising the estimates, talking about reverse tendering and fooling people,” the BJP leader alleged.

According to Veerraju, the Andhra Pradesh government is also exhibiting negligence with respect to doling out a package for the Polavaram evacuees and their resettlement.

“This is not correct, if needed, BJP will take up a movement for the sake of evacuees until they get complete justice. We will take this matter to the elders in the Central government,” Veerraju added.

Veerraju claimed that the Centre has given Rs 11,000 crore for Polavaram project and until now the state government has stated spending Rs 7,000 crore for building the dam and Rs 4,000 on the evacuees.

“From now onwards, AP BJP is demanding that all the money allocated should be equally divided for the dam construction and on evacuees,” he added.

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Follow up on pending bills for Polavaram project with Centre: Andhra CM to officials

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With the Polavaram project estimated to be completed by July this year, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy has instructed state government officials to follow up with the Central government on pending bill payments.

Reddy on Friday reviewed the progress of the Polavaram project, and other major irrigation projects in the state.

Pointing out that around Rs 1,600 crore worth of bills, at various phases, are pending with the Central government, the Chief Minister said that despite financial constraints, the state government is sanctioning money for Polavaram as it is a high-priority project and should be completed on a war footing.

Stating that it is not appropriate to have bills pending at the Centre regarding the expenditure incurred by the state government, Reddy directed the officials to focus on getting them reimbursed.

With further expenditure to the tune of Rs 1,400 crore estimated over the next three months, the CM directed the officials to go to Delhi and get the pending bills cleared.

Officials briefing the Chief Minister said that 91 per cent of spillway concrete works have been completed, and the remaining works will be done by June 15.

They said 42 radial gates have been erected and the pending six gates will be completed soon, adding that the remaining 14 hydraulic cylinders will arrive soon from Germany.

A multi-purpose irrigation project that has been accorded national project status, the Polavaram project is a major dam coming up on the Godavari river in Andhra Pradesh at an estimated cost of Rs 55,548.87 crore (at 2017-18 price levels).

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Jagan’s ‘lies’ on Polavaram exposed in Parliament!

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Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy frequently visits Delhi to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah.

After meeting them, Jagan never speaks to the media to disclose the details of his meetings with Modi and Shah. But AP Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) issues a press release later stating that Jagan met Modi and Shah seeking funds for Polavaram and other projects for AP.

On January 19 and February 19 this year after Jagan met Amit Shah, the AP CMO issued a press release stating that Jagan sought Centre’ approval to increased cost estimates on Polavaram and submitted a memorandum to Shah in this regard.

However, union minister of state for jal shakti Ratan Lal today (Monday) issued a statement in Parliament that the Centre did not receive any proposal or memorandum from Jagan on Polavaram.

The minister gave this reply when YSRCP MP Vemireddy Prabhakar Reddy raised this issue on Parliament saying that Jagan had submitted a memorandum to the Centre on Polavaram on January 19 and February 19 this year and demanded the Centre to approve it.

The minister’s response exposed that the CMO’s claims on Jagan taking up AP issues or Polaravarm issue with the Centre whenever he met Modi or Amit Shah were ‘lies’.

Then what is Jagan discussing with Modi and Shah during his Delhi trips?

Opposition parties allege that Jagan is going to Delhi frequently only to seek BJP bosses help to save him for CBI and ED cases and not for safeguarding AP’s interests.

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Jagan visits Polavaram dam amid protests by workers

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Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy visited the Polavaram dam site. He instructed the contractors and officials to ensure speedy execution of the works for their early completion as per the schedule. There is no problem for funds and all necessary administrative support would be provided for completing the project at the earliest.

Mr. Jagan Reddy left Tadepalli residence by a special helicopter and reached the dam site. Irrigation Minister Anil Kumar and officials were present during his visit.

The Chief Minister visited and took a look at the ongoing works at the spillway and the spill channel. He enquired from the officials about the progress of the works there. The CM’s visit came amidst fresh allegations by the Opposition that the YCP negligence was the reason for non-completion of Polavaram as per the schedule.

Meanwhile, the contract workers at Polavaram project held protests over lack of salaries for the past 16 months. Over 600 workers raised slogans against the Government for ignoring their plight. They criticised that their leaders were not given a chance to meet the CM during his today’s visit.

Only a few days ago, Minister Anil Kumar along with Finance Minister Buggana Rajendranath Reddy visited Delhi and took up the issue of funds for Polavaram with the Union Jal Sakti Minister. After this, the CM undertook the present visit to the dam site.

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RTI: Centre not to bear resettlement costs of Polaravam

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The Central Government has dealt a devastating blow to the Jagan Reddy regime on Polavaram. It has clarified that it will not bear the land acquisition and resettlement costs. The Central Government gave reply to a query under the Right To Information Act (RTI).

The Centre said that it would be providing funds only for the physical works at the dam. The cost of these works came to around Rs 20,000 Cr and a major part of these funds were already provided.

The Union Government told the RTI applicants that the Union Finance Ministry issued a memo in 2016 saying that the Central funding would be given only for the dam construction works. This memo would hold even now. There would be no Central funding for the land acquisition and resettlement which was a major component of the project.

While the dam construction would require around Rs. 20,000 Cr, the resettlement works would cost over Rs 30,000 Cr. Dam works were completed upto 71 percent in the TDP regime and another 2 percent in the YCP rule so far. Whereas, only 20 percent work was completed regarding the land acquisition and resettlement part.

As per reports, only Rs. 2,200 Cr funds were pending with the Centre. In view of the latest development, it is going to be a very, very difficult task for AP to move forward even an inch on the project.

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Jagan crucial meeting on Polavaram

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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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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.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

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.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

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