VISAKHAPATNAM: “Polavaram project is not only important for Andhra Pradesh alone, but as a national project, it is very important and prestigious for NDA government too. In fact, it is the lifeline project and the BJP is committed to completing civil works of Polavaram by February 2019. In the process of interlinkage of rivers, Polavaram will play a vital role in ensuring water supply to the entire South India,” Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Water Resources, Shipping, Road Transport & Highways, has stated.
Gadkari maintained that the differences between the BJP and the ruling Telugu Desam Party in the State would not affect any development activity and the BJP-led NDA government was committed to completing the Polavaram project at any cost.
He further added his department referred the project particulars to the Water and Power Consultancy Services Limited (WAPCOS Ltd) and after receiving its report, the ministry would take appropriate steps to speed up the Polavaram works. Gadkari addressed a party meeting here on Thursday after the completion of his review meeting on the progress of all major ports and road projects in the country.
Gadkari appealed to BJP leaders and activists to vigorously propagate among the public about all the welfare and agricultural-friendly schemes, programmes and activities of the BJP-led NDA government.
“You have to play a key role in educating people about the numerous steps and innovative schemes for better India including mega road corridor constructions, river linking projects, Polavaram, etc launched by the BJP government.
He said every year around 3,000 TMC feet of water from the Godavari flows into the Bay of Bengal during monsoon in the absence of storage facilities and regulation mechanism. If the rivers were linked, the wastage of precious water could be prevented and the same could be used to meet drinking water needs of people and irrigate lakhs of acres.
“We are waiting for the approval from the Union Cabinet for taking up interlinking of rivers with a massive investment. A total of 30 schemes are there among the proposals. We are going to take six schemes including Godavari- Krishna- Pennar- Cauvery liking in Andhra Pradesh at an estimated cost of Rs 50,000 crore,” he said.
He called upon farmers to focus on producing ethanol and bio-fuel. Stating that effective harvesting and conservation of rainwater are the lasting solutions to the country’s water problems, Gadkari said that the government would resolve all the issues to make interlinking of rivers a reality.
“Farmers of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are fighting for the sake of a mere 40- 45 TMC feet of Cauvery water. By inter-linking of rivers, we can increase the water in the river to 700- 800 TMC feet and comfortably meet the water needs of the two States,” Gadkari claimed.
MP Hari Babu said that the BJP was going to take up Dredging Corporation issue with the Union Government.