Tirupati: TDP, BJP, YSRCP blamed for Polavaram cost escalation says AICC secretary Rudra Raju
- AICC secretary Rudra Raju accuses YSRCP of following the footsteps of previous TDP govt in delaying the project with its soft approach towards the Centre
- Says the Naidu govt took over the project execution for commissions though the UPA govt accorded it national status
Tirupati: The previous TDP government, BJP-led Centre and the current YSRCP governments are responsible for the delay in completing the much-needed multi-crore Polavaram irrigation project leading to steep escalation of the project cost, said AICC secretary and former MLC Gidugu Rudra Raju.
Speaking to media here on Friday, the Congress leader accused the three parties of playing hide and seek for their vested interests unmindful of adverse affects on the state which is in dire need to complete the project early to take the state that suffered due to bifurcation, back on the road of development.
Mincing no words, Rudra Raju said that the previous TDP government for the sake of commissions saw the Centre handed over the project execution to state government though the Congress on its part in the bifurcation Act declared Polavaram as national project making it the responsibility of the Centre to complete it. Sadly, the YSRCP too is following the footsteps of TDP government in delaying the project due to its soft approach towards the Centre, he added.
Due to the delay, the project cost now escalated to Rs 50,000 crore but the Centre is insisting that it would pay only the estimated cost of the project in 2013-14 that will be only half of the present project cost, he said cautioning the state against budging to the Centre on the cost issue as it would be an unbearable burden to the people of the state.
Accusing the YSRCP government of keeping the people completely in dark with regard to the project status, he said that the project website was not updated since January 2019 though 11 meetings of Polavaram Project Authority were held after YSRCP came to power.
The Dam Development Committee meetings and also Expert Committee meeting details were also deliberately not placed on the website, he alleged.
He demanded the state govt to take an all-party delegation to Delhi to press the Centre bear the total cost, including the rehabilitation of displaced persons and also early release of funds for completing the main dam and copper dam by June 2021 before rainy season.
In the same breath, the Congress leader made it clear that the party will not remain silent if the Centre causes any burden on the state or the YSRCP further delays the project as it would ultimately hit the people
AICC member K Pramila, APCC general secretary D Rambhupal Reddy, senior leader Penubala Chandra Sekhar were present.