Union Minister for Rural Development Jairam Ramesh has said that the Polavaram Project will be implemented by the Government of India after creating a special purpose vehicle. The approximately Rs. 20,000-crore multi-purpose project will involve Central grants to the tune of 90 per cent of the cost.

“It is not the headache of the State government anymore. The responsibility is that of the Centre, to execute the project resolving the related issues, including getting clearances and expediting its implementation by resolving submergence issues and inter-State disputes,” he told presspersons at Gandhi Bhavan here on Thursday.

Asked about the complexity of the situation considering the existence of two States now, he said, “Consent is deemed to have been given as far as Telangana is concerned but the issue of submergence of villages in Chhattisgarh and Odisha needs to be addressed.” An affidavit has been filed in the Supreme Court by Andhra Pradesh that Rs. 600 crore will be filed, for a retention wall as part of the settlement with its neighbours, he pointed out.

The project will stabilise the ayacut for agriculture in many districts in the Godavari basin and while it will be linked to the Krishna river system, it will also supply drinking water to Visakhapatnam city, he said, recalling that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had given assurances to this effect.

Separate boards for managing water of the Krishna and Godavari rivers would be constituted and allocations made already would be implemented by Andhra Pradesh and Telangana States, he said.

Fresh allocations would be made on excess waters, while earlier allocations would be binding on the two States, he stated.