Construction of the multi-purpose Polavaram irrigation project in residuary Andhra Pradesh state is now the burden of the Central government. As a part its commitment, the Centre will construct Polavaram on its own.
The Centre will float a company called Polavaram Construction Company as a special purpose vehicle and fund 90 percent of the `20,000 crore project. It will spend around `18,000 crore on Polavaram.
The residuary Andhra Pradesh government need not worry about clearances for the project. The Centre on its own will get the clearances for the project and also hold talks with Odisha and Chhattisgarh states.
Environmental and forest clearances needed for Polavaram will be obtained by the Central government. As per the provision of the AP Reorganisation Bill, the Telangana state is deemed to have given its consent for the project.
The villages in Palvancha and Bhadrachalam divisions in Khammam district, which will be submerged under the project, will be merged with East Godavari district.
Andhra Pradesh government had already filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court that it would construct a flood wall to prevent flow of backwaters into Chhattisgarh and Odisha states.
There will be no change in the design of the project. The Centre will fully implement the rehabilitation and relief (R&R) package for the oustees. This will be a a major boon to residuary Andhra Pradesh state. Telangana will also benefit as around 70 tmc of water will be diverted from Godavari to Krishna through Polavaram.
It may be recalled that prime minister Manmohan Singh, while announcing the six-point package to Seemandhra in the Rajya Sabha, said: “I would like to reassure the members that if any further amendments are needed to facilitate smooth and full R&R for the Polavaram project, they will be given effect to at the earliest. Our government will execute the Polavaram project. Let there be no doubt about it.”
Rrural development minister Jairam Ramesh, however, claimed that Manmohan Singh never in the last 10 years used the words “Let there be no doubt about it”.