Srikakulam: Off-shore project works yet to take off

Off-shore reservoir spot at Regulapadu village in Palasa mandal in Srikakulam district
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Off-shore reservoir spot at Regulapadu village in Palasa mandal in Srikakulam district

Highlights

Even after a lapse of 13 years, off-shore reservoir works have not crossed the foundation level at Regulapadu village in Palasa mandal.

Srikakulam: Even after a lapse of 13 years, off-shore reservoir works have not crossed the foundation level at Regulapadu village in Palasa mandal.

Four Chief Ministers made assurances for its completion but no progress was witnessed at ground level. On April 4, 2008, the then Chief Minister Dr Y S Rajasekhara Reddy laid the foundation stone for the off-shore reservoir at Regulapadu village.

At that time the estimated cost of the project was Rs 123.50 crore and he had assured to finish it within two years. The aim of the project is to utilise Mahendratanaya river water properly and provide irrigation facility to 27,000 acres in Meliaputti, Palasa, Vajrapukotturu, Nandigam and Tekkali mandals and also drinking water facility to Palasa municipaltown and surrounding villages.

The mastermind behind the project was the then senior Congress leader and MLA Hanumanthu Appayya Dora. Following his request, Y S Rajasekhara Reddy gave his nod for the project.

Later in 2013, the then Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy visited the project site as part of his Bus Yatra and assured to finish it within a year. Later, immediately after the State bifurcation the TDP came to power. Former Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu gave an assurance to complete the project by June 2016 before the kharif season.

In the meantime, contractors have hiked the cost estimates and issues regarding displacement of people and land acquisition started. With an aim to finish the project, the previous TDP government announced enhancement in the estimated cost as Rs 550 crore to settle all disputes and other issues. But the project works are yet to commence. In 2019 after assuming power, Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy gave an assurance that he would complete the project. But the promise is yet to be fulfilled and no funds have been allocated for the project.

Now contractors are demanding enhancement of estimates again as the cost revision was last made four years ago. "Off-shore project is crucial to meet requirements in five mandals spread over three Assembly constituencies Palasa, Tekkali and Pathapatnam and the government enlisted the project as a priority item and we have submitted a report for its completion to the government through higher officials," Superintendent Engineer (SE) Dola Tirumala Rao explained to The Hans India.

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