Even as the Union water resources ministry called for a meeting of the officials of Andhra Pradesh irrigation department including minister Devineni Uma Maheshwar Rao to discuss the latest controversy over Polavaram tenders issue and work out the strategy to complete the project at the earliest, the Congress party’s Rajya Sabha member K V P Ramachandra Rao led a delegation to Union minister Nitin Gadkari to explain the factual position on the project.
KVP submitted a memorandum to Gadkari stating that the only way the Polavaram project could be completed on time is that the Centre should take over the works from the state.
“In the best interest of the State, the Polavaram Project should be executed completely by the Central Government with 100 per cent funding including all escalation costs, and to take all necessary steps for expediting and completing the project by 2018,” KVP said.
He reminded that as per the AP Reorganization Act, 2014 under Section 90 Sub Section (1), this project was declared as national project and it was proposed that “it is expedient in the public interest that the union should take under its control the regulation and development of the Polavaram irrigation project for the purposes of irrigation.”
It also says the Central Government shall execute the project and obtain all requisite clearances including environmental, forests and rehabilitation and resettlement norms.
KVP said unfortunately at ground level, the situation is not like that.
“The progress of the project since 2014 is not giving any confidence that it will be completed as per schedule.
Further, the target of completing the dam and giving water by gravity for irrigation by 2018 appears to be impractical with present speed of progress in the project works,” he said, adding that it would be better, the centre itself take up the project and complete it before the deadline.