VIJAYAWADA: In a breather of sorts to the Andhra Pradesh government, Union Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday asked the State delegation to carry on with Polavaram project works sans interruption, saying that he and Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu would take a decision over the tendering process later.A State delegation comprising Water Resources Minister Devineni Uma Maheswara Rao, his department officials and the representatives of the contracting agencies met Nitin Gadkari in New Delhi on Tuesday, ahead of the proposed meeting between the Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Polavaram project.
The Polavaram project sparked a row after the Centre ordered the State government to stop the tendering process for the spillway and spill channel works recently.During the Tuesday meeting, Gadkari asked the contracting agencies to undertake the works sans interruption, with a promise that Polavaram project would be completed in a hassle-free manner within the set timeline. Further, the contractors brought the delay in reimbursement of their pending bills to the notice of the Union minister and the latter promised to look into the issue.
“The officials must shift the Polavaram Authority office to Rajahmundry. I will make a field visit to Polavaram project on December 22 and then once in every fortnight,” Gadkari said.After the meeting, Uma Maheswara Rao said that Gadkari had responded positively to the issues raised by the State government and promised to clear all the pending bills within a week. Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, who is on his South Korea tour, also spoke to Union Water Resources Minister on phone and discussed the developments related to Polavaram project.
The Chief Minister said that the AP government had already spent Rs 2,800 crore on the rehabilitation of the Polavaram project evacuees and requested the Centre to release the amount to the State at the earliest.
Nitin Gadkari also promised Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu that the Union government would extend all the necessary support for completion of Polavaram project by 2019, adding that he had already issued orders to release Rs 381 crore for the project.
Naidu requests the Centre to release J2800 crore towards R&R package of Polavaram project
Gadkari promised to extend support to complete the project by 2019
The Centre to release Rs 381 crore for the project soon
Pending bills will be cleared within a week
Cong alleges graft in project cost revision
Alleging irregularities in cost revision for Polavaram project, AP Congress leaders demanded that the project must be executed by the Centre only