The government has finally decided to call for fresh international bids to implement the Polavaram project and complete the tender process by June 30. The decision, which comes 10 months after it scrapped the contracts awarded to two consortia on the ground that they delayed the works, was taken by Chief Minister K. Rosaiah at a high-level meeting here on Tuesday.

The Chief Minister gave an action plan to the irrigation team comprising Major Irrigation Minister P. Lakshmaiah, advisors in the department, secretaries and engineers to complete Polavaram by 2014. Speaking to the media later, Mr. Lakshmaiah dismissed as ‘baseless' the reports that the designs of Polavaram had been changed. He indicated that the government had rejected the fresh proposal submitted by irrigation expert T. Hanumantha Rao to construct three barrages in place of Polavaram dam, saying “alternatives suggested will not be considered.” He said there would not be any change in the dam's height and the extent of submergence under its reservoir.

The project would be built according to the design approved by the Central Water Commission.

It would handle “maximum probable flood” of the Godavari calculated at 50 lakh cusecs that would occur once in 10,000 years.

Asked why here was 10-month delay in taking a decision to call tenders afresh, Mr. Lakshmaiah attributed it to the time taken to fulfil the formalities. He said Polavaram was in for getting national status.

Meanwhile, P. K. Agarwal, retired IAS officer, who was recently appointed Advisor to the government, Irrigation, has been asked to visit New Delhi and streamline the process of getting national status for the project.

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