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Centre refuses to enhance Polavaram project cost?

Centre refuses to enhance Polavaram project cost?

Despite repeated representations by the Andhra Pradesh government and personal requests by chief minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy, the NDA government at the Centre appears to be reluctant to revise the construction cost of Polavaram major irrigation project being built on Godavari.

In a reply to the question raised by YSRC parliamentary party leader V Vijay Sai Reddy in Rajya Sabha, Union Jal Sakthi minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said the Central government would bear the cost of the irrigation component of the project only as per the estimates made on April 1, 2014.

As such, the minister indicated that the revised project cost as per 2017-18 estimates will not be borne.

The chief minister brought to the notice of the Centre several times that the revised project cost for around Rs 55,548 crore was approved by the Central Water Commission and Polavaram Project Authority, but the Centre finally approved the project cost of only Rs 20,398.61 crore as on April 1, 2014.

The Union minister admitted in Rajya Sabha that the cost of the head works of Polavaram dam had gone up form Rs 5,535 crore to Rs 7,192 crore due to change in designs, as per the state government’s report. But he did not clarify whether the Centre would reimburse this additional amount or not.

He said the responsibility of constructing the Polavaram irrigation project was of Andhra Pradesh government. Even the responsibility of approving the designs and the construction plan was that of AP government only.

The CWC would give clearance to the approvals after examining the same as per the norms of the tribunal, he asserted.

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