Affirming that Polavaram project will be completed on time Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy said that 100 feet statue of DR YS Rajasekhar Reddy would be installed at the site for his initiatives for the take-off of the project.
Rounding up the short discussion on Polavaram in the State Assembly here on Wednesday the Chief Minister exposed the shoddy handling of the project by the previous TDP government and assured that the question of reducing the height (45.72 mts) does not arise and water will be given for khariff 2022.
The corruption and mismanagement were so rampant during the previous government that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has commented that Polavaram has become an ATM for Chandrababu Naidu.
We have made efforts and tried to clear the mess Chandrababu Naidu has created on Polavaram by agreeing to 2014 prices, accepting special package and taking over the project from Centre.
So rampant was the corruption that when we went for reverse tendering Rs 1343 crores was saved. Of this Rs 1140 crore was saved by canceling tenders of the previous government and going for fresh bidding.
Polavaram is the lifeline of the State and it was Dr YS Rajasekhara Reddy who brought majority of the clearances while Chandrababu Naidu had been making tall claims that 70 percent of works were completed but in reality is it was about 20 percent of works as he lagged behind in land acquisition and neglected R& R.
The Chief Minister said that the previous government had agreed to the special package of Union Government on September 7, 2016, putting Polavaram at stake. It was clearly said that the central government will fund 100 percent irrigation component to the extent of the cost as on April 1, 2014, leaving behind Land Acquisition, R&R, power, and water components. It also stated that the Government of India has agreed to the State request for the execution of the project by the state government. This was even discussed in the Union Cabinet on 15 March 2017.
The previous government never gave a chance for us to discuss this during the assembly session, although we asked them how the projects will get completed with just Rs 16,000 Crore. Further, in a letter to the State by the Ministry of Jal Shakti on 8 May 2017, they have clearly mentioned that only balance cost of irrigation component will be compensated and the fresh costs has to be borne by the State government. Surprisingly, even Chandrababu Naidu who was then Chief Minister wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 12, 2018 seeking to grant revised cost as the price of 1-April-2014 at the earliest possible.
Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy said that there won’t be any fixed amount for the project until completion and according to Land Acquisition, R&R law 2013, the R&R and Land Acquisition price can only be fixed on the day of awarding. But the previous government failed to provide R&R and thus left it behind.
Taking to the current status of the project, the Chief Minister said that Rs 26,585 Crore is required for completing land acquisition, R&R, Rs 4124 Crore for power house and Rs 7170 Crore for other civil works, taking to a total requirement of Rs 37,885 Crore. With the constant efforts by the State government, the Union Government had accepted for the revised project cost.
Unlike the previous government, the State government shall equally focus on R&R, where Rs 3383 Crore will be done for completing the project to the height of 41.15 meters, where 120 TMC of water can be stored. At 44 meters 158.39 TMC can be stored and that requires an additional Rs 2000 crore for R&R, similarly, at 45 meters 180 TMC can be stored, which requires additional Rs 4500 crore for R&R. For achieving full capacity of the project of storing 194 TMC at 45.72 mts, additional Rs 13,699 Crore for R&R and Rs 3000Cr for land acquisition is required. The project will not be reduced even a single centimeter from the proposed 45.72 meters.
According to the protocols of the Central Water Commision for ensuring dam stability and security, in first year only 33 percent of the water must be stored and in second year a 50 percent and in third year 100 percent of storage will be permitted.
Meanwhile, Minister for Water Resources, Anil Kumar said that the previous TDP government is falsely claiming that 70 percent of Polavaram was completed between 2014-19, but in reality, 86percent of the land acquisition was done during the reign of YS Rajashekar Reddy, who brought all the clearances for the project. He stated that Chandrababu Naidu has been taking credit for the works done by YS Rajashekar Reddy. It was all corruption and wasteful expenditure by Chandrababu, where even Prime Minister Narendra Modi also said that Naidu has used Polavaram as an ATM. Through Reverse tendering, our government had saved Rs 1343 Crore. The wasteful expenditure by TDP leaders in the name of Polavaram visits during their 5-year regime is Rs 83.45 Crore.