Andhra Pradesh

Polavaram work suspension a costly mistake, says Sujana Chowdary

It will be unwise to shift the Capital city at this stage, says the BJP MP.

It will be unwise to shift the Capital city at this stage, says the BJP MP.  

‘Pattiseema proving a huge drain on the exchequer as it has outlived its utility’

Suspension of work on the Polavaram project is causing an estimated loss of ₹10,000 crore per season, BJP Rajaya Sabha member Y.S. Chowdary has said.

The Pattiseema lift irrigation scheme, which was a temporary project aimed at catering to one or two agricultural seasons, had become an expensive one, imposing a big burden on the exchequer for over four years on account of the electricity charges paid for it, Mr. Chowdary told the media here on Wednesday.

Had the Polavaram project been completed, Godavari water could have been supplied to 23 lakh acres, benefiting the crops in the region immensely.

“Since the project is in a limbo, a huge loss is suffered,” he added.

Mr. Chowdary said that the YSRCP government made Amaravati and Polavaram highly controversial, and the BJP would not keep quiet if it continued to be stubborn and downplayed the complaints of attacks by the ruling party activists.

He said it would be unwise to shift the Capital city at this stage, and the government should bear the responsibility for the agony being caused by its actions to the farmers.

On Amaravati, he said a decentralised mode of development would be good for all the districts, but the capital should be at one place for having things under control. He suggested that the growth centres be developed for the sake of employment generation and boosting the local economies.

‘Inordinate delay’

He said the Congress government headed by Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy had spent approximately ₹5,000 crore on the Polavaram canal works between 2004 and 2009, and after his death, the project was inordinately delayed. It was neglected by the Kiran Kumar Reddy government.

Former Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu should have re-assessed the contractor’s capacity, but he did not do it in spite of the slow pace of execution of work. As a consequence, the project hit major hurdles.

However, Mr. Naidu had given up the idea of cancelling the tenders upon being advised by the then Union Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari to avoid litigation in courts and escalation of costs.” Mr. Chowdary recalled.

Dig at Jagan

“But Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy took the hasty decision to cancel tenders by throwing the caution by the Polavaram Project Authority to the winds,” he observed.

Mr. Chowdary said the State government could get the irregularities, if any, probed and punish the culprits but not cancel the tenders without proper evidence and weighing the pros and cons of such a move.

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Printable version | Jun 4, 2020 4:18:06 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/polavaram-work-suspension-a-costly-mistake-says-sujana-chowdary/article29395092.ece

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