Centre to reimburse Polavaram drinking water cost to Andhra Pradesh Government

Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat
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Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat

Highlights

  • The State govt will receive Rs 4,000 cr towards drinking water component of the project
  • Jal Shakti Ministry recently clears these long-pending bills and asks the Union Finance Ministry to pay them
  • In a letter to Finance Ministry, it says the Polavaram multipurpose dam is a national project, which specifically provides for funding of both irrigation and drinking water components

New DelhiL Andhra Pradesh is all set to be reimbursed Rs 4,000 crore towards the cost of the drinking water component works of the Polavaram project. The long-pending bills have been cleared by the Jal Shakti ministry recently and it has informed the Union finance ministry to clear the same.

The Jal Shakti ministry has been sitting on the bills despite repeated pleas of the state government for quite some time. The ministry has been cold shouldering AP's appeals all the while. It has also been maintaining a stoic posture in releasing the revised costs despite the approval of the same.

Even in the current session of the Parliament, minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat had reiterated that the Centre would only release what was approved as the cost of the project in 2014 as part of the irrigation component. As for other expenditure, the Centre had been maintaining that it was not a part of the promise made while declaring the national project for AP as part of the AP Reorganisation Act.

The drinking water works component had cost the state government Rs 4,068.43 crore.

The Jal Shakti ministry has said in its letter to finance ministry that the Polavaram multipurpose dam was a national project, which specifically provides for funding of both irrigation and drinking water components.

"Central Water Commission, the technical wing of this department, has also recommended along similar lines, for the Polavaram project. Thus the above referred exclusion of water component (in case of Polavaram) is an aberration from the guidelines of national project scheme of this department," the letter stated. The Jal Shakti ministry's letter compared the Polavaram project with other national projects such as Gosikhurd in Maharashtra and the Renuka Dam project in Himachal Pradesh where the reimbursement of the drinking water component has been allowed, to justify the present release.

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