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Wanted: Another Rs 39,000 cr for Polavaram!

On one hand, Telugu Desam Party president and Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu says that the prestigious Polavaram project would be completed in all aspects at any cost by 2019. On the other, he says the project still needs Rs 39,000 crore for completion.

People may not be economic experts like Chandrababu Naidu, but it is common sense to say that it is virtually impossible to spend Rs 39,000 crore in a span of 15 months, even if somebody gives the entire money. It clearly shows the project will not be completed even for another 10 years.

Naidu, who inspected the Polavaram project works on Monday said it will be the next biggest project to be dedicated to the nation after Sardar Sarovar Dam on Narmada river in Gujarat.

It took nearly three decades for the Narmada Sagar project to be completed and so one can imagine, how much time Polavaram will take.

He said another Rs 39,000 crore was required to complete the multi-purpose Polavaram irrigation project. So far, only Rs 13,000 crore had been spent on the project, including on land acquisition and, rehabilitation and resettlement (R and R).

In the last three-and-a-half years, the Centre has released Rs 3,350 crore for Polavaram project, which had been declared a national project.

“It (Centre) has to immediately release Rs 3,850 crore more,” Naidu said, adding, “Land acquisition and R and R will cost Rs 32,000 crore of which we have so far spent about Rs 6,000 crore,” he said.

“The actual project will cost Rs 15,000 crore, of which so far we have spent about Rs 7,000 crore. We have submitted revised estimates and they are being processed by the Centre,” the chief minister said.

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