Release Polavaram arrears immediately, Chandrababu Naidu to Gadkari

THE HANS INDIA |   Jan 22,2019 , 03:18 AM IST

Water Resources Minister D Uma Maheswara Rao hands over a memorandum to Union Minister Nitin Gadkari seeking release of funds for Polavaram project at Gannavaram airport on Monday.
Amaravati: Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu demanded Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for water Resources & Ganga Rejuvenation, to take immediate action to expedite approval of Revised Cost Estimate and arrange immediate release of funds for reimbursement of balance expenditure of Rs.3,722.04 crores. Chief Minister wrote a letter to the Union Minister in this regard on Monday. 

This letter gained importance as Gadkari was in Vijayawada on Monday and claiming that the Central government extended full cooperation in construction of the project.  

In his letter, Naidu explained that, the project works are going on at a brisk pace and all efforts are made to complete the project as per schedule by 2019. So far 54.33% of works of Headworks, 90% of Right Main Canal works and 67.37% of Left Main Canal works are completed. Altother, 64.31% of overall project is completed so far with a total expenditure of Rs. 15,585.17 crores. 

Expenditure incurred on the project after declaration as ‘National Project’ is Rs.10,459.30 crores. Out of this, an amount of Rs.6,727.26 crore only has been reimbursed by Government of India so far. The last reimbursement received from Government of India was on 11th  June, 2018.

Since then, there is no reimbursement of expenditure already incurred by the State Government so far. A balance amount of Rs.3,722.04 crores is to be reimbursed till now,’’ he stated in the letter.

The State Government with great difficulty is providing required funds from its meagre resources to the project for releasing essential payments, so that the progress of the ongoing works is not hampered. This is affecting the implementation of other flagship programmes of the State severely, Chandrababu Naidu said. 

The Revised Cost Estimate (RCE) of the project was submitted to CWC for scrutiny and according sanction on 16th August, 2017. The replies to all the observations of CWC were submitted.

It is still under scrutiny in CWC. Any further delay in sanction of RCE of the Project, will delay the reimbursement of expenditure by Government of India which in turn will adversely affect the present pace of progress of works including Land Acquisition and R & R works, the letter said.

The responsibility for 100 percent funding of the Project including Land Acquisition and R&R is bestowed on the Government of India. This has also been reiterated in the cabinet resolutions of the previous UPA Government as well as the present NDA Government. 

Naidu recollected Gadkari’s previous visit to the Project site in July 2018 when he had promised to extend all support including timely release of funds to complete the project by February 2019. We have been leaving no stone unturned to speed up works on all fronts for scheduled completion of the Project, the Chief Minister  explained.

The State Government has been making timely payment for the project, severely restraining its capacity to fund other development and welfare programmes with its limited revenues and resources, he added. 

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