VIJAYAWADA: The announcement of Union Minister of State for Environment Anil Madhav Dave on Tuesday that the notification relating to keeping the Stop Work order in abeyance in regard to Polavaram works has expired on July 3, has caught the state government by surprise since it had done everything that is required for its extension.
The Union minister's announcement could not have come at a worse time since the relations between TDP and BJP seem to be showing signs of fatigue in the wake of Centre's help coming to the state, particularly for Polavaram project, in minuscule quantities.
The Centre has allocated Rs 100 crore last year and another Rs 100 crore this year in the National Budget at a time when the state had sought at least Rs 4,000 crore in this year's budget for Rs 36,000 crore project (revised from Rs 16,000 crore). Though the state government tried to include Pattiseema bill of Rs 2,500 crore in Polavaram contending that it was part of Polavaram Project, the Centre did not buy the argument.
Alliance with BJP questioned
While the Opposition has already been taunting the yellow party asking why was it still sticking with the BJP when it was humiliating the people of AP to no end, the fresh announcement, in reply to a question by TDP member TG Venkatesh in Rajya Sabha, was like rubbing salt into injury. Former MP Vundavalli Arun Kumar has already pounced on Chandrababu Naidu's dispensation for not bringing pressure on the Centre for providing all clearances and sanctioning funds liberally since it had been declared as a national project.
The announcement of the minister took the state government clearly off guard. This, according to reliable sources, was unexpected since Prakash Javadekar, when he was Union minister for Environment had cleared the file relating to extension of abeyance of Stop Work order.
"Javadekar signed the file after the state government submitted all relevant data to his ministry. Basing on it, a notification was to be issued formally when suddenly there was a change of portfolio and Anil Madhav Dave took over as Environment minister," sources said.
Sources felt that since a new minister has taken over, the file has to be sent once again to him for clearance. "The minister knows that the request of the state government has been cleared by his predecessor. Since he is yet to clear it, technically notification has not been made. Probably this was the reason why the written reply to Rajya Sabha member TG Venkatesh had said that the abeyance order had expired on July 3. Since Javadekar has cleared the file seeking extension for the abeyance order, the Polavaram works have been going on though no formal notification has been issued. Works have not been stopped, they are going on," the sources said.