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Pawan corners Jagan on Polavaram evacuees

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Jana Senani Pawan Kalyan is bringing pressure on the Jagan Reddy Government in AP on the issue of ensuring justice to the Polavaram evacuees. He demands protection of the rights of the thousands of families who are being displaced under the irrigation project. The rehabilitation and resettlement packages should be given to the evacuees before they would be moved out of their habitations.

Pawan expressed his concern over how the Government was trying to evacuate the families without first completing the R&R package. It was a violation of the human rights to evacuate the families without sorting out their problems. There are no proper facilities in their relief camps.

Senani threatened to complain to the National Human Rights Commission about the rights violations with regard to the Polavaram evacuees. The Jagan regime is already facing pressure from all sides to complete Polavaram. Lack of enough funds from the Centre and retendering have considered huge delays already. Just like he raised his voice against land pooling in some villages, Pawan is now bent on opposing evacuation of families under Polavaram project without fulfilling their demands.

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Andhra CM urges Shah to release Polavaram project funds

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Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Tuesday night called on Union Home Minister Amit Shah and discussed various issues of importance to the state, including releasing funds for the Polavaram project.

Reddy submitted a memorandum on Polavaram and urged Shah to consider the second revised cost estimate as per 2017-18 index to pass Rs 55,656 crore expenditure and issuing required directives to the Finance and Jal Shakti departments.

He requested the Central government to reimburse the land acquisition, relief and rehabilitation packages as per the Land Acquisition Act 2013.

The Chief Minister informed that the number of families which have to be evacuated have risen considerably in 2017-18, vis-a-vis 2005-06 from 44,574 families to 1.06 lakh families, spiking LA and R&R costs.

He said an amount of Rs 1,779 crore is still pending towards reimbursement of Polavaram works, including December 2018 bills.

“Any delay will further escalate the cost and the national project which is a lifeline should be expedited,” Reddy told Shah.

He reminded the Home Minister that the southern state did not stop welfare schemes even during the difficult Covid times.

Among others, the Chief Minister reiterated that special category status is important to the state.

Reddy met Shah around 9 p.m. on Tuesday.

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‘No change in Polavaram project height, water to flow from 2022 kharif’

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Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Monday said there is no change in the height of Polavaram project and that water from it will be released for Kharif 2022.

“Rehabilitation works will be taken up on a priority basis. Initially, the rehabilitation works with an estimated cost of Rs 3,330 crore will be started in flood prone areas when water storage is at 41.5 metres,” said Reddy, after his third visit to the national project.

Consequently, the storage capacity will be increased in a phased manner to 45.72 metres, he said and directed officials to make preparations accordingly.

The state aims to complete rehabilitation works by February or March 2021.

“Project works should be completed by December 2021 so that any minor pending works can be completed in two or three months and water can be released for Kharif 2022,” said Reddy.

He also directed officials to expedite spillway and spill channel works to complete them by May end 2021 as Godavari river will be flooded from June, which may disrupt work by another season.

“At the same time take steps to fill the gaps in the cofferdam so that the works of the main dam will be done swiftly,” said the CM, directing that hydroelectric project works should also continue.

He condemned the propaganda that project height is being reduced and called it a falsehood.

He asserted that the height of the project at full reservoir level (FRL) would be 45.72 metres, which was also vouched by Polavaram Project Authority (PPA) member secretary Ranga Reddy.

The Chief Minister said it is crucial to complete land acquisition, rehabilitation and resettlement, along with the construction of the dam.

“We could not store full capacity in Chitravati, Gandikota and Kandaleru projects due to negligence in LA and R & R works,” he said.

He said Chitravati dam’s full capacity of 10 tmc water was stored only after the YSRCP came to power and spent Rs 240 crore for rehabilitation.

Reddy directed officials to make alternative arrangements to avoid drinking and irrigation water shortage to the delta during the closure of cofferdams.

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Finally, Polavaram too running into legal deadend

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Everyday, some decision or the other made by the YCP Government in Andhra Pradesh is getting stuck in legal complications. One section or other, either individual citizens or organizations, are approaching the courts and seeking cancellations of the government orders. Now, the same problem is threatening the future of the prestigious, lifeline Polavaram project. The Andhra Pradesh Farmers’ Federation has decided to approach the Supreme Court of India pleading against reduction in the dam height from 45.7 meters to 41.15 meters.

Irrigation experts’ warnings to AP are now coming true. They have already cautioned the Jagan regime against changing contractors and designs in the name of reverse tendering. But the Government went forward. In view of pressure from different sections for early completion of the project, the YCP Government has given indications for reducing dam height in order to decrease R&R compensation from Rs. 27,000 Cr to Rs. 3,500 Cr.

Farmers leaders are taking strong objection to this. They met at Bhimavaram in West Godavari and decided to start a legal battle against the AP Government if it tried to reduce Polavaram dam height.

Already, the Central Government was not releasing the required funds for the project ever since AP ignored its suggestions and went ahead with reverse tendering.

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Centre to clear Rs 2,234 Cr Polavaram dues to AP

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At long last, after a near explosive confrontation, the Union Finance Ministry has agreed to clear Rs. 2,234Cr pending payments to Andhra Pradesh under the Polavaram irrigation project. This is towards the already completed works. The decision comes after a rebellious stand taken by the Jaganmohan Reddy regime in the recent weeks. CM Jagan himself shot off an aggressive letter to the Prime Minister, while AP Government’s Advisor Subhash Chandra Garg also made serious comments against Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman.

Now, the Union Finance Minister has told the Union Jal Shakti Ministry that it has no objections to clear the pending dues to AP. As such, required steps may be taken by the Polavaram Project Authority (PPA) to go ahead with the payments clearances. The Andhra Pradesh Government has brought enormous pressure on the Centre in the past few weeks on Polavaram dues. YCP Ministers started asking the Centre to take over the project and complete it by itself. However, the Centre has not responded on this issue whether it would consider taking over the project or not. But, it has come forward to clear pending dues for the time being.
As per reports, AP would have to get a total pending dues of Rs. 9,288 Cr. This included Rs. 2,234 Cr towards completed works and another Rs. 7,053 Cr towards the adjustments as per the 2013-`14 estimated costs of the project.

During her recent visit to AP, the Government made representations to Sitaraman to clear pending payments. Also, the Opposition has been raising much political heat on the YCP on delays in Polavaram completion. Amid growing hostile debates, the Centre has brought the curtain down on the issue temporarily by agreeing to the State’s demand partially.

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Crucial emergency meeting of Polavaram Project Authority in Hyderabad

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The Telangana and Andhra Pradesh governments will present the concerns of the respective states before the Polavaram Project Authority at the crucial emergency meeting which is currently underway in Hyderabad.

Both the governments will present their arguments before Polavaram Project Authority CEO Chandrasekhar Iyer. On its part, the Andhra Pradesh government will strongly put forth its demand on unconditional release of pending reimbursements, accord investment clearance for the Polavaram project’s second revised cost estimate (RCE) of Rs 55,549 crore at the earliest so that the project could be completed by December 2021. Already, Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, met Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and union home minister Amit Shah seeking early release of pending reimbursements on Polavaram project, considered the lifeline project of Andhra Pradesh.

Irrigation Special Chief Secretary Adityanath Das and engineer-in-chief of the State irrigation department C Narayana Reddy will represent the Andhra Pradesh government. At the Polavaram Project Authority meeting, Irrigation Special Chief Secretary Adityanath Das is expected to strongly put forth the concerns of the Andhra Pradesh government. The Telangana government’s arguments will be presented by engineer-in-chief of the State irrigation department Muralidhar Rao.

While Jagan Mohan Reddy appealed to the central government to sanction funds as per the 2017-2018 price levels estimates of Rs 55,448 as approved by the Central Water Commission, the central government has made it clear that it will pay as per the original cost estimation of Rs 20,399 crore at 2013-14 price levels.

The Polavaram project was declared a national project by the central government at the time of AP bifurcation and enshrined as a solemn promise in the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014.

The Polavaram Project Authority is unlikely to consider the Andhra Pradesh government’s appeal to the central government to sanction funds as per the 2017-2018 price levels. It remains to be seen whether the Polavaram Project Authority will agree to the demands of the Andhra Pradesh government

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Centre’s pressure tactics to cut Polavaram funds to AP

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The Modi Government at the Centre is tightening the noose around the Jaganmohan Reddy Government’s neck in Andhra Pradesh on the issue of Polavaram project. As per latest indications, the Union Finance Ministry is giving another twist to the delay in release of Central funds for the project. It is asking the State Government to present the bills for different works already executed at the project site. Reports say that the Centre has decided to release funds to AP only when it is clarified that the funds meant for Polavaram are spent for its works only.

The latest decision of the Centre came amid reports of gross diversion of Polavaram funds for other prestigious schemes of the YCP. It is well known AP is not giving funds to welfare corporations and using those funds to implement his Cash Transfer welfare schemes under ‘Navaratnalu’. There are rumours that some funds under Polavaram were also diverted for this in the past. As a result, the bill payments to Polavaram contractors were kept pending.

The allegations on funds diversions came as a big opportunity to the Centre now to use its pressure tactics to corner the Jagan Reddy regime now. By doing so, the Centre wants to make AP fall in line with the Union Finance Ministry’s argument that only Rs. 20,398 Cr Central funding would be there for Polavaram as per 2014 price level. Jagan Reddy has written a letter to the PM seeking total Rs. 55,000 Cr support.

On its part, the Union Jal Shakti Ministry has decided to make it clear to AP in the next meeting of Polavaram Project Authority that from now on, funds would be released only after checking whether bills submitted by AP were relating to Polavaram works or not. If AP does not cooperate, the Centre may not release Rs. 2,234 Cr towards already completed works and another Rs. 7,053 Cr funds to be given as per 2013-`14 estimates.

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AP to lose Rs. 4,730 Cr Central funds under Polavaram

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The Central Government, the Union Jal Shakti Ministry and the Central Water Commission (CWC) are giving as much embarrassment as possible to the AP Government on the issue of Polavaram project funds. As per the AP Reorganisation Act, the Centre has declared Polavaram as a ‘national project’ and promised to bear all the costs. Now, the Centre is saying it will not bear the Rs. 30,000 Cr cost towards the land acquisition and resettlement component.

In yet another blow to the Jagan regime, the Jal Shakti Ministry and the Union Finance Ministry are saying that Rs. 4,730 Cr was spent on Polavaram before it was declared as the ‘national project’. As such, those funds would also be considered as the Centre’s contribution under the project now. So, this would be deducted from the payments to be made to AP in future. The latest stand of the Jal Shakti Ministry came as a severe blow to the State Government. Each passing day, one crisis or another is hitting the State’s lifeline irrigation project which has the potential to fulfill water needs of almost all districts in the State.

Alarmingly, the Polavaram Project Authority is also not cooperating with the AP Government considering the fact that the Authority was ignored by CM Jagan Reddy right from the beginning. The Authority has warned against going for retendering on Polavaram but Jagan regime did not care at all. Instead, AP Ministers bypassed Authority officials and took up the issue with Union Ministers directly at that time.

Now, one by one, many hurdles are being created in the flow of Central funds for Polavaram. It is well known that AP is in deep financial crisis and it cannot take up this project with its own funds. Doubts are growing since the Centre is also showing greater unwillingness to interfere or to get involved in the project.

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Jagan policy raises doubts on Polavaram future

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AP’s lifeline irrigation project, Polavaram, is stuck in an ever deepening crisis with no hope of its works restarting in the near future. CM Jaganmohan Reddy initially said that the project would be continued and completed even if there is no support from the Centre. He hinted at the State funds to be allocated for completing Polavaram. But, as days passed by, there are no Central or State funds to restart the project works.

The engineers are expressing concerns over the rising costs of the project because of increase in prices of raw material because of further delay. A few weeks ago, the state authorities were happy at the Centre’s readiness to release Rs. 1,850 Cr towards dues. But these funds are also not being released as the Union Finance Ministry is asking lot of questions.

AP is yet to get Rs. 5,072 Cr reimbursements from the Centre. CM Jagan Reddy has made several representations to PM Modi, Amit Shah and other Union Ministers. But there has been no positive response from the Centre. There are increasing fears within in the state irrigation ministry officials on the overall future of Polavaram works.

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Has Jagan made a costly self-goal on Polavaram?

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The Jaganmohan Reddy government and YCP leaders are unusually silent on Polavaram for the past few weeks. They are obviously realising that the Modi government will not support Jagan’s reverse tendering. Neither CM nor Irrigation Minister Anil Kumar Yadav are speaking on status of re-tenders. They have fallen totally silent after the Centre has asked critical clarifications on the Raymond Peter’s report on irregularities in Polavaram works. It is well known that YCP Circar has pre-closed Navayuga contract based on this Raymond Peter report.

However, the Centre is raising many doubts on the Peter report which is causing embarrassment to AP CM, irrigation minister and officials. Many days have passed since the Centre asked for clarifications but Jagan Regime is not able to give its reply. Analysts say that Jagan has almost reached a dead-end now. He can neither go forward nor backward on his reverse tenders.

If Jagan sticks to his self-styled adamant policy, he will have to face the prospects of losing Central funding for Polavaram. In that case, AP government will have to bear the funds for the remaining 29 per cent works. Even then, there is a possibility of the Centre raising its own objections since Polavaram is a national project taken up with cent per cent Central funds. Polavaram is indeed becoming a bitter pill to swallow for Jagan even as the BJP AP leaders insist on completing this project with Central funds alone so as to claim full credit ahead of Jamili elections.

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Chief Engineer removed ahead of Shekawat decision

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The AP government has removed Polavaram Engineer-in-Chief M. Venkateswara Rao in the wake of continuing deadlock over the fate of its re-tendering process. Rao is working for this project for over 15 years and he was chief engineer during YSR regime as well. YCP’s decision took the engineers circles in the state by surprise. Moreover, Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekawat is expected to take a final decision soon on whether the Centre would support re-tendering issue or not.

YCP Circar has also removed Venkateswara Rao from the membership of Polavaram Project Authority, which is under the control of the Centre. This is after PPA Chief Executive Officer RK Jain objected to AP’s re-tendering that the Centre has started making comments against Jagan Regime.

During his recent visit also, Jagan met Shekawat and asked him to allow AP to go for re-tendering. But Shekawat has said that he would decide only after studying the report submitted by the Project Authority.

In the place of Venkateswara Rao, the AP government has appointed Sudhakar Babu who is also made a member of the Project Authority now. The sudden change in top official post indicated Jagan’s stubbornness to go ahead with re-tendering despite negative response from the Centre.

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Reverse shocks continue for YCP Regime

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The reverse decisions on Polavaram project are giving shock after shock to the YCP government in Andhra. Union Minister for Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekawat has bluntly told AP Circar that it cannot do whatever it likes on changing the contractors of the state’s lifeline irrigation project. The state should inform the Centre since it is providing all the funds. Shekawat also clarified that the Centre would take a final decision in two days after seeing the report of the Polavaram Project Authority CEO RK Singh.

The Project Authority CEO has already given a 12-page report to the Centre and also to AP on how the project would be badly hit if YCP decision is implemented. The report said that there is already four years delay in the project which will be further delayed if contractors are changed. There is no guarantee that the new contractors will do works at a lesser price. Even if they do, they may not deliver quality works.

The Project Authority also expressed concerns that if there is delay in Polavaram, it would lead to greater dependence of AP on Pattiseema and Purushottampatnam. This would result in unbearable financial burden on the government. CEO’s report came like a bigger shock to the YCP government as it object to change of contractors in every way possible. It is going to be a loss of face for Jagan Regime which earlier said that Chandrababu Circar committed irregularities in Polavaram project.

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YCP silent and indefensible on Polavaram fiasco

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The Jagan Media has not put out a single story on the AP High Court’s order asking the YCP government to stop its reverse tendering process. It is because there is no sensible defense on this. The Sakshi Media has not touched upon this subject at all. The 5 Deputy Chief Ministers, Ministers, Advisors, MLAs and nobody is daring to talk about the scene that is turning reverse against the ruling party. There is no sense of direction in the ruling camp as there is no reaction from CM Jagan on how to respond to this situation.

The YCP leaders have gone into a state of shock, helplessness and silence now. But the opposition TDP and BJP have launched scathing attacks on Polavaram reverse verdict. Apparently, Jagan Circar went blindly ahead and cancelled the Navayuga Company contract without settling its dues. The government said at one point of time that Navayuga had agreed to step away from the project and invited re-tenders.
But now, Navayuga approached court and the re-tendering is stopped eventually. Analysts say that Jagan obviously did not consider legal implications of his government’s decision. The Polavaram failure is indeed a strong blow to his overall policy-making and sense of direction. Undoubtedly, Jagan Regime will be receiving many more similar blows if it does not follow democratic and legally acceptable policies.

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Contract cancellation creates new doubts on Polavaram

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Polavaram and new Andhra Pradesh capital were the two major projects which attracted all the attention in Andhra Pradesh post bifurcation and now with the change of guards, development of Amaravati has hit the pause button while fresh doubts have cropped up about Polavaram.

The YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) government’s move to exit Navayuga Engineering Company out of Polavaram has triggered apprehensions over the mega irrigation project being built on Godavari river.

The new government three days ago served a notice to Navayuga asking it to exit from the project as it was awarded the contract on a nomination basis by previous Telugu Desam Party (TDP) government.

As a sub-contractor, Navayuga was engaged in various works relating to the project including construction of spillway, spillway channel, coffer dam and power project component. The total value of the works being executed by the company were about Rs 3,000 crore.

The government has now decided to call tenders by going for reverse tendering process. The development was not unexpected as soon after assuming the office, Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy had declared that all the contracts awarded by the previous government on nomination basis would be reviewed and wherever necessary he would go for reverse tendering as this would ensure transparency by allowing participation of largest number of bidders. He believes this would lead to huge saving to public exchequer.

The government took the action on the findings of a committee of experts constituted by it to review the works awarded to Navayuga.

The move, however, evoked criticism not only from TDP, other opposition parties but also from the Centre, which is funding the project.

Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat termed as ‘sad’ the move by the YSRCP government to terminate the contract. He told the Parliament that this would become a new impediment for executing the project and lead to cost escalation.

Polavaram, which is estimated to cost Rs 58,000 crore, was declared a national project in 2016 as committed by the Centre at the time of bifurcation of combined Andhra Pradesh in 2014.

It is being executed by the state government under the supervision of the Polavaram Project Authority, a central agency.

The project designed to bring an area of over seven lakh acres in coastal Andhra under irrigation besides producing 960 Megawatt power, utilising 273 thousand million cubic feet or TMC of water currently going waste into the sea.

With floods in Godavari, the project works have come to a halt. Officials say the works could resume after the end of flood season in October.

After his first visit to the project site last month, Jagan Mohan Reddy alleged that TDP government resorted to irregularities in the project by awarding contracts on nomination basis to those who were close to it.

Alleged corruption in Polavaram was a key issue during the election campaign. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also targeted then chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu for delaying execution of Polavaram and alleged that he is using it as ‘ATM’ leading to cost escalation.

The exit notice to Navayuga may not be the last move of Jagan Reddy government as he claimed that several sub-contracts were awarded to those close to the then ruling party and the ministers.

The TDP has rubbished the allegations and claimed that utmost transparency was maintained in the process of awarding the works. TDP leader and former irrigation minister D. Uma Maheswara Rao pointed out that the sub-contract to Navayuga was in fact awarded on the suggestion of the Centre so that the works could speed up.

“This is one of the several steps taken by Jagan Mohan Reddy government due to political vendetta without bothering about the state’s interests,” he said.

Chandrababu Naidu said despite the canard spread by YSRCP all these years, the TDP government completed 70 per cent of the project works. He cautioned that if YSRCP government failed to execute the balance works in a stipulated time, Polavaram will remain a dream.

Jagan Reddy recently reiterated that his government will complete the project by June 2021.

However, experts say the termination of contracts and calling of fresh tenders may further delay the project and also lead to cost escalation.

Conceived in 1941 at just Rs 6.5 crore, Polavaram was marred by delays and controversies over last several decades.

Being built at Polavaram in West Godavari district, it is said to be the last irrigation project of this scale in the country and promises to become lifeline of Andhra Pradesh.

Despite being mooted before India’s independence, it remained on paper for several decades. Though the foundation stone was laid in 1980, no progress could made be made till 2005 when then chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy launched the work. Most of the works of two canals were completed and majority of the clearances from the Centre were obtained during his time.

However, Rajasekhara Reddy’s death in a helicopter crash in 2009 and subsequent political turmoil due to revival of demand for Telangana state once again threw the project in a limbo.

The commitment made by the Centre in Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act came as a fresh hope for the project and since then significant progress was made but for people of state it is still a long way to go.

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Why Jagan wants Centre to complete Polavaram?

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Polavaram, the lifeline irrigation project for AP, is proving to be a very critical issue for CM-elect Jaganmohan Reddy. The project cost has gone up manifolds because of delay in works. It’s a national project for which the Centre should bear 100 per cent expenditure. But the Centre is not giving full funds.

Interestingly, AP government is constructing the project and getting funds towards the works completed. Polavaram land acquisition costs have gone up to Rs 55,000 cr for which the Centre is not agreeing to release funds. Seeing all these difficulties, Jagan says that the AP government has no full responsibility on Polavaram. If the Central Government takes it up, the project should be completed in time bound manner, he says.

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Chandrababu Naidu using Polavaram project as ATM: Modi

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Hyderabad: Prime Minister Narendra Modi came down heavily on Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and AP chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu for stamping Centre’s schemes as his party’s policies. Moreover, Naidu is using Polavaram project for drawing funds from the Centre and not spending them properly, maintained Modi.

The Prime Minister has asked Andhraites to go through newspapers three years ago and notice what’s Naidu is criticizing about the BJP-led NDA government.

“That’s why we call Chandrababu Naidu as U-turn Babu. Naidu was praising the NDA government earlier and now started criticizing for no fault of the BJP. This is just for political gain only. The Centre has so far released over Rs7,000 crore funds for Polavaram. What’s been the progress so far? TDP and previous government didn’t do anything for Polavaram project for over four decades. The NDA government has only released Rs7,000 crore funds. However, they’re not utilized properly. The U-turn Babu is using Polavaram project as ATM machine to draw funds from the Centre. Andhraites should realise about what’s happening,” said Modi.

Addressing at a public meeting in Rajahmahendravaram on Monday afternoon, Modi further criticized Naidu and his party for posing question over surgical strikes, while ignoring Pulvama attack by militants.

“Such statements can only appease Pakistan. This is showing the innerside of Naidu. Andhra Pradesh people prefer to maintain their own heritage and culture. BJP is committed to protect Andhra heritage and culture, while Naidu prefers his own Heritage company,” remarked Modi.

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Modi only interested in Gujarat: CBN on Polavaram

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Ahead of PM Modi’s visit to AP, the ruling TDP and the BJP are engaged in mutual allegations and criticism. TDP mounted strong criticism as CM Chandrababu Naidu says that Modi has not extended required support to the Poalvaram life line project of AP which is costing nealry Rs. 53,000 crore.

Modi is interested only in developing his home state of Gujarat with states like the much-neglected and highly discriminated Andhra Pradesh pushed to the background, CBN said. The TDP is launching a comprehensive campaign on the step-motherly treatment being given by the Centre to AP’s needs. Even the party second rung leaders are making open statements against the Modi visit and passing critical comments against the BJP.

Not many BJP leaders are able to issue counter statements to the TDP on this count. Because of the fast-approaching 2019 elections, many BJP aspirants are looking for better opportunities in other parties. BJP MP GVL Narasimha Rao is busy in Delhi politics. Only BJP AP President Kanna Laxminarayana is countering TDP leaders as he accused Chandrababu of intensifying criticism of Modi out of fear of exposing his misinformation in front of the AP people.

Kanna says the TDP leaders have exploited all the funds provided by the Centre under various schemes and this misuse of funds spanned from toilets to liquor bottles. CBN is afraid of the truth coming out which is why he is blaming Modi for ulterior political advantage, Kanna says.

G.Ravikiran

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Pawan satires on CM’s real-time governance

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It is known news that cracks appeared on the road that led to the Polavaram project site and that led people in that area fearing of earthquake. The incident took place on Saturday and the videos showed massive cracks in the mud road. Local people got panicked at the incident and officials rushed to the spot to review the situation. This also led to 25 villages in the area losing electricity as electric poles uprooted because of cracks in ground.

Pawan Kalyan posted videos of the Polavaram road cracks and took potshots at Chief minister as he questioned whether CM’s realtime governance noticed this or not. It is known news that CM has been boasting of realtime governance in the state and telling that AP state is a leading innovator in technology adoption. Pawan tweeted, “I hope Hon. CM Sri. CBN garu’s real time governance has noticed how a road of one kilometre near Polavaram Project had split as if some earthquake occurred. Please give a clarity to peoplewhy it happened.”

We will have to wait and see how government reacts on Pawan’s questions.

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Will Gadkari’s visit to Polavaram bring funds?

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Union Minister for Water Resources, Nitin Gadkari is scheduled to visit Polavaram Project site on July 11. This would be his second visit to the project site after he took over the Ministry from Uma Bharati a year ago and the first visit after the Telugu Desam Party broke alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Though Polavaram is the national project and the Central government has to give 100 per cent funds for its construction, the State government is spending from its coffers, while the Central government is taking its own time to reimburse. There is a huge gap of close to Rs 2,000 crore between the State government’s spending and the Central government’s reimbursement on the project in the last four years. This puts an additional burden of Rs 300 crore on the State government towards rate of interest as the State is spending from its external borrowings.

Chandrababu Naidu who never cared for Polavaram Project during his earlier stint between 1995 and 2004 had taken up the project construction now from the Central government only with an eye on the resettlement and rehabilitation package and compensation for the land acquisition. It is everybody’s knowledge that Chandrababu Naidu is at his best all the time to handle the land acquisition for any cause and assign works to the contractors that would benefit him and his party. Polavaram too is one source of funds for the ruling TDP, as seen by the Opposition parties. Surprisingly, the BJP too finds some mischief in the expenditure in the project and it is this reason that causes delay in release of funds.

As the relations are strained between the TDP in the State and the BJP at the Centre, the visit of Gadkari to the project site would not be a festival as it had during his first visit. It is expected that besides Minister for Water Resources, Devineni Umamaheswara Rao and a few senior officials of the department, Gadkari visit this time will not have Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu accompanying. However, there are BJP leaders who might take part to give a clear picture on the corruption part of the project.

Interestingly, two weeks ago, the BJP leaders from the State have visited the project site and accused the TDP government to huge corruption. It is to be seen how the BJP leaders would now make use of Gadkari’s visit to hit at the TDP in the State.

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.

New record at Polavaram by Navayuga

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Polavaram project is undoubtedly lifeline of residuary state of Andhra Pradesh. There have been critical comments on this project regarding the pace the project is going on. However, Navayuga company created a record in speed with which the project is going on.

It is known news that Navayuga has taken over from transstroy India after the latter failed to deliver as promised. Ever since Navayuga took over Polavaram works have been getting completed at very fast pace. Navayuga company created record by completing 8,000 cubic meters of concrete work in just 16 hours. Actually this is record as it broke earlier national record in irrigation projects. Navayuga management expressed confidence that, they will break the record speed of construction of three gorges dam in China soon.

Even though polavaram work moved at snail pace in last 4 years, because of non cooperation from centre and because of the earlier construction company, now the works are being completed at a very fast pace, which is a good news for people of Andhra Pradesh

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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