AP CM assures to take up Polavaram project with PM Modi
(6 months ago)
Amravati (Andhra Pradesh) , November 30 : Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu on Thursday categorically stated that he will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi soon and will strive till the last minute on Polavaram project.
Naidu responded over the Center's letter on Polavaram project.
The Chief Minister said that he tried to talk to Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, but could not, as he was in London, adding that he would talk to him when he returns.
Speaking at the State Assembly here, the Chief Minister said, "Will speak to Prime Minister on Polavaram project. If Centre wants us to stop the tender work we will stop it and hand over work to Centre to complete the project."
"Will take Opposition to Delhi to discuss the project if they are willing to come. We have spent Rs. 12,0000 crores so far on Polavaram project and we need Rs. 42, 0000 crores more for it. Because they are the ally, we are acting with patience," he said.
"My only aim is that the project gets completed on time. Doesn't matter who completes it," Naidu added.
Further speaking on Polavaram project, Naidu said, "60,000 acres of land is yet to be acquired for Polavaram. Our aim is that Polavaram project be completed within stipulated time".
Polavaram has been declared as a 'national project' under the AP Reorganisation Act-2014 but its execution responsibility was entrusted to the state government, citing a NITI Aayog recommendation for its expeditious completion.
For over three months now, the state government has been trying to replace the main contractor Transtroy India, saying it was unable to execute the works as desired.
The Centre, however, made it clear that it would not permit a change of contractor as it would lead to escalation of costs besides possibly causing legal problems.
The Chief Minister, however, prevailed upon the Union Water Resources Minister and a "via media" solution was found under which the project spillway and spill channel works would be entrusted to a new contractor.
Accordingly, the state invited bids early this month for selecting a new contractor and hoped to complete the process by December 15.
The state's plan, however, hit a roadblock two days ago when the Union Water Resources Department Secretary wrote a letter to the Chief Secretary directing that the tender process be stalled forthwith.