M. L. Melly Maitreyi

Rs. 1,500 crore for 39 prioritised projects will be released in June

State to allocate Rs.500 crore a month out of Rs.15,000 cr. allocated for Jalayagnam projects

Funds unlikely for major projects like Polavaram, Pranahita Chevella, Devadula etc.

HYDERABAD: After failing to release funds for Jalayagnam projects for two months, the government now plans to clear the dues to the tune of Rs.1,500 crore for the prioritised 39 irrigation projects in June.

A target was set to complete 39 irrigation projects with an outlay of Rs.6,000 crore by the end of current financial year on a priority basis and bring additional ayacut under cultivation by next kharif season.

Accordingly, it was decided to allocate Rs.500 crore a month for these projects out of the Rs.15,000 crore allocated in the 2010-11 budget for all Jalayagnam projects.

With the mounting demand for release of scholarships and fee-reimbursement from educational institutions and beneficiaries before commencement of examinations in professional colleges, the government was compelled to meet their requirement first out of the limited resources at its disposal.

As a result, other than Rs.220 crore towards land acquisition and Relief & Rehabilitation, prioritised projects did not get the promised funds in April and May. But, the Finance Department hopes to adjust Rs.1,500 crore for irrigation projects in June and another Rs.500 crore towards clearing outstanding dues of Rs.3,500 crore to the contractors for the works taken up during the last financial year.

In the given financial circumstances, sources say, completing 25 out of targeted 39 irrigation projects should be a major achievement.

The Finance Department also sought monthly progress reports on the priority projects and expenditure incurred during each month but the irrigation department is yet to comply with this stipulation. Officials admit that it may not be possible to allot funds for major irrigation projects like Polavaram, Pranahita Chevella, Devadula etc., during this year.

However, the scenario will change if the Centre grants National Project status to Polavaram to meet 90 per cent of its fund requirement.

Review meet today

Meanwhile, with no significant improvement in the State revenue, Chief Minister K. Rosaiah has convened a meeting on resource mobilisation on Wednesday.

He will explore ways and means to improve revenue generation and garner additional resources to fulfil the government's commitment towards welfare and development schemes.