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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.

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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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