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Political slugfests over Polavaram

Political slugfests over Polavaram
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Highlights

The construction of Polavaram irrigation project came to a virtual halt for eight to 10 months in 2019 due to various reasons, apart from the change of guard in the state.

The construction of Polavaram irrigation project came to a virtual halt for eight to 10 months in 2019 due to various reasons, apart from the change of guard in the state.

Termination of contract with Navayuga Engineering Company for execution of works, appointment of an Expert Committee to review the corruption allegations in Polavaram works, Central government's objections on cancellation of Navayuga, awarding the remaining work to new company, Navayuga's petition in High Court, pending dues for the completed work from the Centre, pending of the approval for the DPR-2 are some of the major problems for the slowdown in project works this year.

In fact, TDP president and the then chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu ensured a reasonable progress in the works.

Though he, too, faced several hurdles in the first couple of years, the construction gained momentum in the last three years of his rule.

According to a White Paper released by Naidu before elections this year, 52.15 per cent work was completed in Head works, 90 per cent on the right main canal and about 66.53 per cent work was completed on the Left main canal.

In total, 62.86 per cent work was completed on the project.

After schedule for the elections was issued on March 10, 2019, the project works came to a halt as there was no proper monitoring system. In addition, insufficient funds became another block.

On the other hand, after the elections, the YSRCP government stopped the works. Jagan administration, alleging that the TDP government indulged in corruption, terminated the contract awarded to the Navayuga.

As announced, he introduced the reverse tendering auction procedure and announced saving of Rs 628 crore.

In addition, the state government also constituted an expert committee to examine the corruption allegations in execution of the project and asked to submit suggestions to complete the project.

Though the committee submitted the report to the state government, the state government did not fix any responsibility on anybody for alleged violations.

The government is asserting that spillway works will be completed by the end of 2020.

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