It is now more or less official. There is no deadline now for the completion of the multi-purpose Poalvaram irrigation project being constructed on river Godavari, which is considered to be the lifeline of Andhra Pradesh.
All these days, Telugu Desam Party president and Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu had been saying that his government would complete the Polavaram project at any cost by 2018 end and give water under gravity to left and right canals of the project by 2019.
However, Naidu made it clear on Sunday that it would take at least two more years for the project to come to a shape in the wake of delay in changing the contractor. It does mean, Polavaram cannot be completed even before 2010.
Naidu told the party leaders that after prolonged delay, the Centre had finally agreed to the proposal of Navayuga Engineering Company taking over Polavaram works.
Due to this delay in change of project contractor, one season was wasted and it would take two years to complete the project.
He said that 76% of earth work, 35% head works, 72% of spillway and other works have been completed so far and upstream cofferdam works would be started.
He said the State government could not achieve success in its efforts to release water from Polavaram through gravity by 2018 as Secretary of Union Water Resources department blocked the tender process.
“I told the Centre that I have no objection to any firm taking over execution of Polavaram works. Union Minister Nitin Gadkari wanted us to entrust the project works to a contractor who is willing to take up the works at 2010-11 price level. Navayuga has come forward now and the Union government approved the proposal. The escrow account will be opened in two days for transaction process,” he said.
Rejecting the demands of opposition parties on release of white paper on Polavaram works, he said the progress of works was being revealed every Monday and no need to release any white paper.