Once again holding his predecessor N. Chandrababu Naidu responsible for the inordinate delay in the construction of Polavaram project and alleged large-scale siphoning off funds out of it, Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy claimed that both the upper and lower cofferdams were completed and all the 48 crest gates had been erected during his regime, and that only he was capable of dedicating the fully functional project to the nation.
Mr. Jagan Mohan Reddy recalled that none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi had alleged that Mr. Naidu treated the Polavaram project as an ATM, as “he (Mr. Naidu) awarded the project to contractors close to him by flouting norms,” and thereby made hay while the sun shone.
Making a statement on the Polavaram project during a short discussion in the Legislative Assembly on Thursday, Mr. Jagan Mohan Reddy said during the TDP term, cofferdam works were taken up before the spillway was built, which resulted in gaping holes in the diaphragm wall, and works that brought a windfall to the contractors were first taken up and those not so beneficial were pushed down the priority list.
Mr. Naidu had not uttered a single word about Polavaram before 2014, but later exploited it to his personal advantage and to the benefit of his coterie, the Chief Minister said.
He asserted that his government saved ₹800 crore in the project through reverse tendering and it was during his rule the spillway and cofferdams were completed.
Water was now being provided to the Godavari delta through the Polavaram project and the floods could be successfully controlled.
But, Mr. Naidu continued to spread lies that Polavaram project was actually completed during his tenure, to rob the credit due to the present government, Mr. Jagan Mohan Reddy added.