Eleven out of the 24 crest gates are yet to be installed

The progress of work at Pulichintala continues to be tardy and it is unlike for it to be completed by June as the State Government was hoping, according to the leaders of Pulichintala Sadhana Samithi.

The Sadhana Samithi convenor and former Rajya Sabha member Yelamanchilli Sivaji said Machilipatnam MP Konakalla Narayana, former Minister Vadde Sobhanadreewara Rao, farmers’ association leader Kolli Nageswara Rao and others visited the Pulichintala Project site to assess the progress in its execution.

Eleven out of the 24 crest gates had to still be installed. The contractor was able to install two gates in a month. So a minimum of six months were required for the fixing of the gates alone.

After fixing of the crest gates 11,000 cubic meters of concrete work had to be done. This too would take time taking into consideration the rate at which the Contractor was working, Dr Sivaji said.

Sir Arthur Cotton was able to build the anicut across Godavari river at Dowleswaram in a matter of seven years (1847-52) and everything was done manually using bullocks, donkeys and camels. There was no mechanisation of any sort. It took just ten years for building the Nagarjuna Sagar dam and dig the canals too after it began in 1957, Dr Sivaji said.

But it was more then nine years since the construction of Pulichintala Project began and it was yet to be completed. The Chief Minister promised that he would appoint a Principal Secretary cadre officer to monitor the progress closely by visiting it every fortnight.

While there was no sign of a principal secretary cadre officer visiting the site, even the chief engineer and the superintending engineer were not available to the Sadhana Committee to clear their doubts, Dr Sivaji said.

Though it was suggested that the Contractor of Pulichintala project be changed, several times, the state Government was not heeding to it, Dr Sivaji said. He had also suggested that the contractor be changed in 2010-11, but the same was not done. “If it was done then the project would have been over by now,” he said. The State Government on the other hand gave the same firm the contract to do the power project also. But it subsequently cancelled the tender because the contractor failed to meet the deadlines. Meanwhile the cost of the project and acquisition of land was escalating, he said.

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